The authorities must crack down hard on criminals who blatantly intimidate public officials with violence and threats of violence, as happened to Paphos Mayor Phedonos. His mother’s car was booby-trapped with an explosive, and extensively damaged in the blast.
Those who seek to cheat the public interest, either by corruption or damaging and hidden conflicts of interest, have bankrupted the state. The state is living on borrowed time because of the chronic threat of corruption and criminals who can control even high-up officials.
The state is you and me, it is every citizen. It is therefore every citizen’s duty to protest and expose corruption and crime – as Mayor Phedonos is courageous enough to do on a daily basis. If we turn our backs and don’t say anything, the corruption will simply get worse. Whistleblowers will be the vulnerable ones instead of the criminals who are responsible.
Public servants are paid a salary to do their jobs. They are guaranteed an income by the state, and by no means is it acceptable for them to abuse their power in any way. It is only the public that can change this, by refusing to kow-tow to abuses of power and corruption.
The authorities must back the public interest as strongly as Mayor Phedonos and Auditor-General Michaelides are doing. It is vital for the economy and our national reputation, not to mention our national pride. Do we want to be known as a country where corruption is as rampant as in a third-world country?
The struggle to stamp out corruption must be continued. This publication stands by Mayor Phedonos and any other public official who has the guts to challenge the culture of entrenched corruption.