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EU Corruption Fighter Agency Lauds Cyprus’ Transparency Efforts

April 6, 2018

Still trying to fend off a reputation for being a money-laundering haven, Cyprus has received a boost from the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) after passing measures aimed at combating corruption by public officials and improving transparency in the government.

GRECO is the anti-corruption agency of the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, covers 820 million people and has an annual operating budget of about 500 million euros ($612.1 million) to combat the phenomenon.

GRECO’s office said the body expressed satisfaction with progress in the country after a third evaluation round, the Cyprus Mail reported.

Among other steps, Cyprus has prepared legislation establishing an independent anti-corruption authority which the Attorney-General will review, the paper said, with the agency citing the now-mandatory publication of the capital statements of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and their spouses.

Other legislation that has been pending for five years includes term limits for the President and Members of Parliament along with restricting immunity for lawmakers which gives them protection.

Another bill – also pending – lists the offenses for which the President may be criminally prosecuted.
Cyprus has also drafted a bill protecting whistleblowers, while another bill aims to regulate lobbying and also create a register of persons involved in making public decisions.

For the first time, according to the statement, citizens in Cyprus are to be given access to public documents, enhancing accountability in government.

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