THERE is a lot of corruption at various levels of public life, former finance minister Charilaos Stavrakis said, and the bad thing is, it is almost acceptable in Cypriot society.
“In dealing with public life for the first time, I clearly realised there is a lot of corruption at various levels,” Stavrakis said in his book Economy in Politics and Politics in the Economy, presented to the media last Friday.
The former minister said certain government departments wield great power and their “sometimes arbitrary “decisions concerning town-planning, health, taxation and other matters, “can create huge benefits or burdens to entrepreneurs and companies.”
“Many times I felt that these people’s main concern was to help certain businessmen instead of trying to defend the state’s interest,” the former minister said.
Stavrakis said he did not believe there was an issue of outright bribery but to maintain good relations with the crème de la crème of Cypriot entrepreneurs “was perhaps more important for some state officials.”
Some aimed at securing important positions in banks or other organisations after retirement from the public service, Stavrakis said.
“It would be interesting for one to count how many former