In it, Vgenopoulos reiterated his theory of a well-connected political and economic establishment in
He named names and described specific instances which, if not conclusively damning, certainly call for answers from those involved. Such answers, however, have not been forthcoming following earlier assertions by Vgenopoulos.
Ex-president Demetris Christofias and his Finance Minister
"This political and economic establishment thought it has found an easy target in me – but they thought wrong," Vgenopoulos said by way of getting warmed up. "My biggest mistake has been a conscious one that I have made all my life. I have never involved myself with any establishment – especially a political one – whether in
Vgenopoulos has been accused for an array of actions that have allegedly led to the eventual collapse of
"I am the single biggest taxpayer in
The interview had become infamous even before it was aired, for all the wrong reasons. Michaelidou had approached Vgenopoulos with a request for a two-hour televised interview, which he agreed to on condition that if the CyBC refused to air it, he would be allowed to make it public himself. Indeed, the channel mysteriously declined to schedule it for broadcast, and Vgenopoulos got it out through a Cypriot online news portal. The events seem to vindicate his frequent claim of deliberate exclusion from the airwaves, despite being one of the most talked-about protagonists in the saga of the country's economic destruction.
"I have been fighting for this chance to air my views extensively for two and a half years," he told Michaelidou almost gratefully. "Do you recall the Pikis commission?" he asked, referring to the three-man panel of former judges, headed by Georgios Pikis, that President Anastasiades tasked with investigating the causes of the economy's collapse. "I sent them a letter offering to testify, but was told I could not be invited because some other investigations were ongoing. But [former boss of the
Vgenopoulos had a lot to say about the
"The report had no chapter on the issue of loans given to land developers after they could not pay their existing loans," he said. "The Committee also inexplicably did not look into the bank's government-appointed administrations that followed our own. What is that? A mistake?"
Next on Vgenopoulos' list of culprits was Sarris, selected to run the bank by then-governor of the Central Bank Athanasios Orphanides – also a favourite in Vgenopoulos' target-list – in
"While ostensibly trying to attract investors to capitalise the bank, Sarris gave interviews to international media about the bank's state which had investors running scared," Vgenopoulos said. "Then he claimed to have known from
With regard to Sarris' stint at Laiki's helm, Vgenopoulos revealed that in 2012 he repeatedly asked the CySEC's chairwoman
"Last April I wrote to the Attorney-general, asking him to look into any possible negligence on Kalogirou's part for her failure to act," he said.
Pointing to his determination to finally settle all scores, this time Vgenopoulos chose to elaborate on the issue of money-laundering, which he claimed to have fought against once he assumed control over Laiki in 2006.
"When I took over the bank it was critically wounded by the Milosevic money-laundering scandal," he said. He was referring to allegations that Laiki had been involved in the laundering of millions on behalf of the Milosevic regime in contravention of UN financial sanctions, illegally transferring bags of cash to
"But the interesting question is this: how many cases of money laundering have been investigated in
Vgenopoulos signed off his accusatory diatribe with perhaps his most offensive assertion.
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