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Central Bank scandal hits Cyprus. President Anastasiades moves to fire Central Bank Governor

Cypriot President Anastasiades has been under pressure to fire the Central Bank chief over conflict of interest allegations and a blowout in parliament last week when an executive member of the Central Bank claimed Georghadji was blackmailing MPs with information on their bank loans.

Alex Christoforou

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Never a boring day in the Cyprus banking and financial sector.

The latest corruption/cronyism scandal to now hit the EU member state revolves around the Central Bank Governor, Chrystalla Georghadji, and her marital ties with the now defunct Laiki Bank (the very bank Brussels shut down a few years back).

Turns out Georghadji may be in breach of her contract because her husband’s law firm represents the former head Laiki Bank, Andreas Vgenopoulos, who’s embroiled in a legal battle with the Central Bank.

On top of what is an obvious conflict of interest, claims are also surfacing that Georghadji was blackmailing Cyprus MPs with information on their bank loans. God only know what Cyprus Parliament members are hiding in their financial accounts.

Cypriots tend to forget that President Anastasiades was “lucky” enough to have have his daughter move over 28 million euros to London two weeks before Laiki was shut down, in the now infamous Cyprus depositor haircut debacle.

Yahoo News reports…

State Broadcaster CyBC reported that the Central Bank governor’s husband, Andreas Georghadjis, said his law office would stop representing Vgenopoulos and accused individuals he didn’t name of using “hypocritical tactics” to undermine the Central Bank and his wife. Georghadjis said the Cypriot president knew that Vgenopoulos was his client two years before appointing his wife.

The matter dates back to October when Anastasiades publicly criticized Georghadji for not disclosing that her daughter worked for her estranged husband’s law office, prompting a revision of her contract and assurances that the matter would be resolved.

But things boiled over again during a tumultuous parliamentary ethics committee meeting last week when a Central Bank executive board member alleged that Georghadji had obtained a list with the names of lawmakers with overdue loans at the Bank of Cyprus.

The board member, Stelios Kiliaris, suggested that Georghadji could use the information as leverage against detractors and get them to back off from conflict of interest accusations.

Kiliaris, who has since resigned, went as far as to say that Georghadji had a vested interest having her estranged husband’s law firm win the case against Vgenopoulos because she and her family would stand to gain millions.

Georghadji denied the allegations, insisting that she only sought the list as part of her supervisory duties and that she had no intention of holding the information over anyone.

Cyprus Mail reports…

President Nicos Anastasiades will ask the Attorney-general to look into how the Constitution can allow for the dismissal of Central Bank (CBC) governor Chrystalla Georghadji, the government spokesman said late on Sunday night.

“The President of the Republic regrets to note that the institution of the Central Bank, as well as the trust in it, has been severely compromised,” Nicos Christodoulides told reporters at the Presidential Palace.

“The main reason for this was unfortunately the issue of conflict of interest concerning Chrystalla Georghadji, which had she brought to the President’s attention he would not have appointed her governor of the Central Bank.”

“It is a conflict of interest which, according to Mrs. Georghadji’s revised contract, is strictly prohibited, and arises from the fact that Mrs. Georghadji’s husband was and remains the lawyer representing Andreas Vgenopoulos.”

“With this,” the spokesman added, “the President has no choice but to ask the Attorney-general to examine the evidence and activate those clauses of the Constitution in order to remove Mrs. Georghadji from her post.”

The President had already briefed European Central Bank President Mario Draghi of his intentions, the spokesman said.

Christodoulides’ comments came shortly after Georghadji, walking out of her meeting with the President, told the press that she had no intention of stepping down.

“There are laws we have to respect,” she told reporters. ”These laws protect the independence of the governor. For me the issue is closed”.

But asked also whether the matter was closed for the President as well, Georghadji said: “You should ask the President.”

References:

http://cyprus-mail.com/2015/03/16/palace-looks-to-fire-georghadji/

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

RT

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By

Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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