Ge­or­giades: “We can take it from here”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cyprus, bailed out by the Troika of in­ter­na­tional lenders in 2013, is about to exit the ‘ad­just­ment pro­gramme’ in March, just as the econ­omy has re­sumed its growth path, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Haris Ge­or­giades said af­ter briefing the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment on Mon­day.

Speak­ing af­ter a meet­ing with the EP Com­mit­tee on Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Affairs, where he briefed mem­bers on the eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion in Cyprus, Ge­or­giades said that with Cyprus hav­ing com­pleted the pro­gramme, the coun­try will no longer be in­cluded in the list of EU prob­lems but will be in a po­si­tion to con­trib­ute to joint Union goals.

He said that what he is pre­sent­ing is “a story of eco­nomic re­cov­ery, of op­ti­mism and prospect.”

“We have come a long way, we have a se­cond chance and we are de­ter­mined to make the best of it”, Ge­or­giades said. Re­fer­ring to the EUR 10 bln bail-out, he said that Cyprus will be “able to com­plete the ESM/IMF pro­gramme on time, by this com­ing March.”

We have not utilised the full amount, he noted, point­ing out that “more that 2 of the 9 bil­lion [euros] of ESM funds will not be drawn.”

“We shall not be re­quest­ing a new pro­gramme and we shall not be need­ing a con­di­tional credit line”, he as­sured MEPs, adding that “we can take it from here.”

At the same time Ge­or­giades high­lighted the fact that “the ef­fort is far from over.”

Cyprus, he said, “has proven to be a re­silient and com­pet­i­tive econ­omy, an at­trac­tive desti­na­tion for new busi­ness and new in­vest­ment,” he noted, adding that “at the same time we know that we can do even bet­ter.”

He re­ferred to the on­go­ing ef­forts for struc­tural re­form, not­ing that the govern­ment has al­ready im­ple­mented am­bi­tious wel­fare re­forms, a tax ad­min­is­tra­tion re­form and a pub­lic fi­nan­cial man­age­ment re­form.

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