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articles | 13 October 2014

Cyprus can end its dependency on international lending, says Finance Minister

The target to end Cyprus' economic dependance on its international lenders' financing is feasible, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said recently.

Speaking to CNA regarding the meetings and contacts he holds in Washington, Georgiades said he discussed the issue of the economy as well as the effort Cyprus is making for reforms and consolidation with IMF high ranking officials who recognise the progress made. Today the Finance Minister is scheduled to meet with major international investment banks.

The Cypriot minister concludes his visit to USA capital where he attended the IMF fall meeting along with the Cyprus Central Bank Governor Chrystalla Giorgadjis.

In statements to CNA, Georgiades referred to the meetings he will hold today with private investment banks, saying that he will brief them on the progress Cyprus has achieved in its effort to promote financial reforms and regain its credibility internationally.

Georgiades met on Saturday with the executive President and Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). “We discussed EBRD further steps of operation in Cyprus, while I had the opportunity to discuss with them general issues concerning the Bank as I chair this year the board of Governors,”, he said.

On Friday, the Minister had a long meeting with the head of IMF European division Paul Thomsen, and the new head Mission Chief for Cyprus Mark Lewis in succession of Delia Velculescu.

“We assessed the progress of Cyprus economy which is recognised by all our interlocutors in Washington,”, Georgiades said.

Asked what was the reaction to the delay of Cyprus’ review due to the complications regarding the foreclosures legislation after the House of Representatives voted amendments and draft legislations deviating from government’s policy on the matter and Troikas requirements, the Minister said they are fully understanding to the fact that delays and political difficulties could be expected. “We are applying and realising a very demanding, ambitious and difficult yet necessary reform programme and possibly is inevitable and expected that on some issues delays and political difficulties might occur,” he said. They understand that, however this does not mean that financing can continue with a resolution of the problem, he went on and stressed that he explain that the problem does not affect the implementation of Cyprus programme.

Replying to another question whether his interlocutors are sharing the optimism he as well as the President of the Republic of Cyprus have expressed that the island can exit the programme sooner that expected, Georgiades said that this target is totally feasible.

“The target is totally achievable since Cyprus has already managed to return to international markets and all basic indices, including public debt and fiscal deficit are met, while Cyprus international credibility is being restored”, he said.

“However, I want to stress that this does not mean an early termination of efforts for financial reform and consolidation, he noted. On the contrary, he said the first results, the slowly reduction of recession and the scaling-down of unemployment for the first time in years, the success of the programme in general can give us the confidence we need to continue.

During his stay in DC, the Cypriot minister also met with high-ranking officials of the US government. It is a clear choice of the government to upgrade as much as possible its political and economic relations with the USA, he said.

Cyprus agreed with its international lenders collectively known as the Troika (EC, ECB, IMF) a €10 billion bailout. So far the country has received five tranches amounting to €5,77 billion from the EU and the IMF.

The 6th Programme tranche was not disbursed in September 2014 (€433 mln) due to non-compliance in introducing legislation on foreclosure as demanded by the Programme partners.

Source: Famagusta Gazette

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