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Cyprus Internet Directory [ ‘Because it’s Easter I shall not answer’ ]

‘Because it’s Easter I shall not answer’

“CALL ME on my mobile”: that was the reaction yesterday by Commerce Minister Antonis Paschalides to a deputy’s persistent allegations that impostor potatoes hailing from the north were flooding the market.

According to Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis, a DISY MP, thousands of tonnes of potatoes from the north are being processed in the Republic and then exported to Greece with Cypriot labels.

Hadjiyiannis has pointed the finger at the Greek Cypriot owner of a packaging facility, allegedly located in Kokkinotrimithia.

According to the deputy, the facility, which is unlicensed, buys Turkish Cypriot potatoes and then passes them off as Greek Cypriot produce.

“This person does not even bother to repackage the potatoes...he just sticks labels of Greek Cypriot producers on the bags.”

Because northern potatoes are cheaper, the unscrupulous businessman was making an additional profit of €100 per tonne, said Hadjiyiannis.

This was being done at the expense of legitimate Greek Cypriot farmers, he said. Moreover, the deputy accused authorities of having all this information but doing nothing.

He also challenged at the Ports Authority to disclose information regarding how many containers with dodgy potatoes were being shipped to Greece.

Hadjiyiannis warned that unless the government took action to shut down the facility, he would have to assume that authorities were in cahoots with the Greek Cypriot businessman in question.

“It pains me to say that both ministers limited themselves to perfunctory remarks when contacted with these details. Are they not aware of what goes on in Cyprus?” the deputy said, referring to the ministers of Agriculture and Commerce.

Hadjiyiannis told newsmen he would wait until after the Easter holidays before coming forth with fresh information on the scandal.

But an unfazed Commerce Minister yesterday urged the eager deputy to take his potatoes with a pinch of salt.

“If he [Hadjiyiannis] really had evidence, hard evidence, he has my mobile number – he should have called me on the very same night. One does not wait five to 10 days to pass before coming forth with this kind of serious information.

“When it comes to such serious matters, publicity should not be a priority. I urge everyone, whether they are a common citizen, a member of parliament or businessman with suspicions, to contact us immediately, instead of making statements to the media and holding press conferences,” added Paschalides, in what was clearly a jibe at the DISY MP.

The Minister declined to comment further on Hadjiyiannis’ allegations, saying: “Because it is Easter, I shall not answer, because I want my response to be the correct one. In any case, I wish him a Happy Easter.”



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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