By Alexander Apostolides on February 10, 2010

The chief executive of Eurocypria must go.

Eurocypria is a charter airline that is owned by the republic of Cyprus. It had never made money, and it was a great way for the government "friends" in highly paid places. The EU put a stop of that and gave us 10 years to sort it out. The government placed a new executive and set it to work to make the company self sufficient and not dependent in government handouts.

Six years later the CEO Lefteris Ioannou went to parliament this week and demanded a further $35 million euros or the company will close on Friday. What he did was bend all of us over a barrel- it is simply inexcusable for a CEO of a company who had 6 years of government handouts to come to parliament and blackmail the parliament while keeping his job. This is especially true since any hand out would lead to a fine from the European commission as we would be seen as unfairly subsidising a domestic company.

The money should be given on a week by week basis, but only if a parliamentary recovery program is in place. The parliament should also demand the resignation of all the officers of the company. Passing Eurocypria a blank cheque is not the answer: what the government needs to do is similar to the US and AIG by making a step by step intervention by the government to ensure the company manages the handouts correctly; this is the only way forward.

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