Anas­tasi­ades: Con­fi­dence has been re­stored

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades said on Tues­day that con­fi­dence has been re­stored both in the pub­lic sec­tor and in the bank­ing sec­tor.

Mak­ing his first of­fi­cial state­ments after re­sum­ing of­fice, fol­low­ing a three week ab­sence to un­dergo a heart op­er­a­tion in New York’s Mount Si­nai Hos­pi­tal to re­pair his mi­tral valve, the Pres­i­dent said: “The gov­ern­ment suc­ceeded not only to re­verse the num­bers, but also to re­store con­fi­dence, at least in the pub­lic fi­nan­cial sec­tor of the state.”

He said this came “through a se­ries of pos­i­tive reviews by the Troika (of in­ter­na­tional lenders), through a se­ries of up­grades by the credit rat­ing agen­cies, by hav­ing sought suc­cess­fully and se­cur­ing loans from the mar­kets which are among the strictest judges.”

He also said that there was an in­creased “will­ing­ness by cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als to invest in the fi­nan­cial sys­tem, the trust­wor­thi­ness of which we have equally suc­ceeded to re­store through the lat­est tri­als of the stress tests”.

Ad­mit­ting that the 22 months of his ad­min­is­tra­tion had been bumpy, Anas­tasi­ades said that he was ready to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of a ‘na­tional unity gov­ern­ment’ in or­der to pro­ceed faster with mak­ing progress and try­ing to re­solve the Cyprus prob­lem.

He said that there would be changes at the Pres­i­dency, with the plan ex­pected to be an­nounced soon after the hol­i­days.

Over the week­end and soon after he had re­turned home, Anas­tasi­ades had said that he will lay out his plans for ma­jor re­forms.

Among the pri­or­i­ties are changes at the Pres­i­den­tial Palace, where “some new peo­ple might ar­rive and other might leave,” said Gov­ern­ment Spokesman Ni­cos Christodoulides.

On the is­sue of the es­tab­lish­ment of a “na­tional unity gov­ern­ment”, Christodoulides said this was in re­sponse to the na­tional chal­lenges and the Cyprus prob­lem.

Talks with the Turk­ish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou were halted last month when Turkey sent its seis­mic ves­sel Bar­baros into the Cyprus ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (EEZ) to ex­plore for oil and gas de­posits and boost’ Ankara’s bid for a share in fu­ture re­sources and rev­enues, claim­ing th­ese in the name of the Turk­ish Cypriot com­mu­nity.

As re­gards any me­di­a­tion ef­forts for the talks to re­sume, the Pres­i­dent said: “We must al­ways be frank. Both our reser­va­tions and our rights are un­der­stood. Equally un­der­stood is also the fact that beyond the diplo­matic at­tempts or ef­forts they make, some of the coun­tries avoid pub­lic con­fronta­tion be­cause of the big in­ter­ests they have vested with Turkey, which is ei­ther geostrate­gi­cally use­ful for some in the war against the Is­lamic State or be­cause Turkey is a big mar­ket that is of in­ter­est to many of th­ese coun­tries”.

He added that “we have re­cent ex­am­ples, but I do not want to make a more spe­cific ref­er­ence”.

Asked whether there was a re­ply from Ankara on the po­si­tions he him­self had con­veyed to Turkey, through the Greek gov­ern­ment, and if he is sat­is­fied with the replies, Anas­tasi­ades said: “I will an­swer in a straight­for­ward man­ner. The replies so far are not at all sat­is­fac­tory. To the con­trary, they cre­ate many prob­lems.”

Mean­while, Spokesman Christodoulides said that the Pres­i­dent’s vis­its to Rus­sia and Is­rael are ex­pected to take place some time in Fe­bru­ary.

Cyprus has al­ready em­barked on a se­ries of vis­its to Egypt and Greece to dis­cuss fu­ture co­op­er­a­tion in oil and gas ex­plo­ration in the east­ern Mediter­ranean, and wants to in­clude Is­rael and pos­si­bly Le­banon in fu­ture dis­cus­sions.

The mis­sion to Moscow aims to ex­plore prospects for eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in the face of in­creas­ing western pres­sure for more sanc­tions against Rus­sia over eh cri­sis in Crimea and east­ern Ukraine, with the fall in global oil prices ham­per­ing the Krem­lin’s plans.

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