articles | 06 December 2019 | ServPRO Accountants & Consultants

Cyprus’ Finance Minister: Obligation to keep applying good financial practices

Addressing the 16th Pancyprian Conference of OEKDY – SEK Trade Union, last Friday, Cyprus’ Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said that through collective effort, the Cypriot economy got a second chance and “it is everyone’s collective responsibility to ensure that there is no return to past bad practices”. As one of his last acts as Finance Minister, Georgiades said it was his privilege to express his appreciation for the union, its leadership, its officials and the workers it represents. He had announced earlier in March that he will step down by the end of year 2019.

As Geordiades noted in his speech, his consultations with the trade union during his term of office have been constant and talked about the various decisions which have been made for the benefit of workers, further adding that it would not have been possible to make them if the Cypriot economy remained trapped in recession and uncertainty.

“In order for the economy to be sound today, it took hard work, toil and sacrifices from citizens and difficult political decisions had to be made,” Georgiades said. According to the Minister, no request or need can be satisfied until the health of the economy and public finances is first ensured.

Georgiades also emphasised that today our country is clearly in a better position and instead of a deep and longwinded recession it has achieved its 5th consecutive year of strong growth. Instead of having unemployment at 16.5%, unemployment in Cyprus is currently at 6.5%, which leads to a reduction of social inequalities.

He further added that: “Instead of having a €1 billion black whole in our public finances which made charges and cuts inevitable, we have a surplus of €1 billion which allows us to continue a policy of tax incentives and cuts, fund investments and go ahead with significant reforms such as the NHS.”

He clarified that the banking system’s recovery was not for the benefit of bankers but rather for the benefit of investments, trade and growth which cannot exist without a healthy banking system. Moreover, referring to expenses for public health, he noted that they are currently at the highest level.

Concluding, Harris Georgiades said: “It is the collective obligation of the government and parliament, trade unions and employers’ associations to treat this second chance carefully and responsibly, without exaggerations, without narrow mindedness and without ever returning to past bad practices.”

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