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Record for secret accounts a ‘fishing exercise’

18/03/2004 13:30
The introduction of a record in the Central Bank including the banking accounts of all Cypriots in the commercial banks or the cooperatives is a “fishing exercise”, Personal Data Commissioner, Yioula Frangou said on Thursday. The notification of all accounts in the Central Bank for the introduction of a record is incompatible with article 4 of the Personal Data Law”, Mrs. Frangou said, clarifying that she is against not only to the legitimacy of the basic principles for their legal processing, but also against the provision that forbids their processing at a later stage.

“The Income Tax Superintendent cannot have access to a record where almost all the accounts of the Cypriot citizens are registered. The Banks, however, are obliged to have their own analytical record for their clients”, Mrs. Frangou noted.

On the other hand, Income Tax Manager, Georgios Poufos emphasized that the initial bills did not provide for the introduction of a Central Registry in the Central Bank, but this provision was added at a later stage, following the banks’ reaction for the lifting of the banking secrecy. Mr. Poufos denied that with the proposed amendment in the bill the Income Tax Superintendent would go in for a fishing exercise.

It seems, however, that the members of the Finance Committee will comply with the stance of the Personal Data Commissioner, without excluding the possibility or returning to the provisions of the initial bills.

“Our intention is not to make any mistake, violating either the constitution, or the legislation or the international agreements”, Chairman of the House Finance Committee, Aristos Chrisostomou said, stressing that the Parliament’s main aim is to give the power to the Income Tax to eliminate tax evasion.