NICOSIA - The path has been cleared for the appointment of as many as six Ministerial Under Secretaries following the new government’s first Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Speaking after the meeting, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said: “A part of the amendment related to the creation of Under Secretaries was approved. This law is not complete because this amendment has to be made and then there will be others that will assign the duties of specific Ministries to specific Under Secretaries.”
Stylianides said that President Nicos Anastasiades believed the appointment of Under Secretaries would better serve the functioning of the government as well as the country’s representation within the EU. He also noted that a maximum of six Under Secretaries would be appointed and that the changes would not to add to the cost of the public sector. The legislation was yesterday submitted to the House but it has yet to be clarified which Ministries the Under Secretaries will be appointed to.
The Cabinet yesterday also decided to make it possible for a law on the monitoring of political officials’ personal assets to be passed: “for the purpose of transparency in public life and to battle corruption.” This was also submitted to the House yesterday.
Another important decision—also later submitted to the House -- saw the Attorney General being given the power to appoint criminal investigators who, if their unanimous findings determined that a government official had violated their duties, could pass the matter on to the Attorney General.
The Cabinet also instructed the Commerce Ministry to look into ways to merge the Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s overseas services to bring down costs, the Government Spokesman said.
Another decision saw the Defence Minster asked to consider reducing the number of military attaches at Cypriot embassies while the Justice Minister was similarly asked to consider the number of police officers at embassies.
Stylianides said: “It is a basic policy of this government to reduce the cost of diplomatic missions wherever possible,” adding: “Without of course impeding the service of national interests in every European or other capital.”