PR company hired to counter negative reports [Cyprus Mail]
(Cyprus Mail Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Author: George Psyllides
CYPRUS has hired an international communications firm to help its bid to secure financial assistance, especially in light of recent negative reports on the country's money laundering record.
According to PRWeek, a weekly public relations publication, Cyprus has hired FTI consulting as it tries to put out its side of the story amid a flurry of negative reports, mainly in the German media.
The firm has been hired by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) – a non-profit limited company fully funded by the government -- which initially invited bids at the end of 2011 for a brief to increase direct investment to Cyprus.
It has however evolved to also include support and advice to the finance ministry and the Central Bank during the bailout process, PRWeek said.
A process that may run into difficulties after a number of German lawmakers, who would have to approve any bailout, voiced concerns about a rescue for Cyprus because its reputation of being a popular tax haven for wealthy Russians.
In November, Germany's Der Spiegel had cited a German intelligence agency report as saying "Russian oligarchs, business people and mafiosi" would benefit most from any bailout and that Cyprus was a "gateway for money laundering in the EU."
Cyprus has denied the allegations, saying it was doing more to fight money laundering than other eurozone countries.
Neil Doyle, managing director in FTI's strategic communications practice, was quoted by PRWeek as saying: "We are trying to provide balance to what has been biased coverage on what is really going on … the Cypriot story is a positive one, but the underlying story isn't coming out."
Doyle suggested that Cyprus was plagued by 'legacy issues' from before its EU membership.
FTI will assume its inward investment brief after conclusion of the bailout talks and the presidential elections mid February.
"Our hope is to have a more balanced coverage and at least set the facts straight," FTI senor managing director Cleopatra Kitti, told the Cyprus Mail.
FTI Consulting has previously worked with the governments of Hungary and Iceland, and the Bank of Spain.
(c) 2012 Cyprus Mail Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
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