“In good times we should be saving as a state and encouraging people to save up. We have a growth rate of almost 4% and unemployment has dropped under 8% and declining. There is no need to push more money into consumption. This is what we’re doing… we are
“What politicians should have done was to regulate the ESTIA with tighter criteria, targeting the truly vulnerable layers of society, leaving no space for moral hazard”.
Georgiades stressed that now is the time to continue with corrective measures. Good periods are the best time to perform corrective measures.
“If you are to give out raises you should be taking into consideration the needs of the economy. What is happening now is that the government is handing out lateral raises, without taking into consideration the payroll in the private sector, what is paid out for the same services in the rest of the EU”.
Reforming the justice system
The state needs to proceed with adopting measures that will reform the justice system in Cyprus, making credible to outsiders.
“We are talking about reducing the banks’ NPEs (non performing exposures). Efforts to sell off NPLs are hindered by the fact that we do not have a clear justice system regarding repossessions, with laws that keep changing, and some repossession cases could be in the courts for the next ten years”.
A result of the unclear regulatory system regarding almost all aspects of the society, but especially the banking system, saw big banking institutions like HSBC leave the island.
“Whatever people may say about this particular institution, it was still a sizeable bank which left because of holes in the legal system.
“And who did we replace it with? With people and institutions who knew how to manipulate such systems and eventually led to the downfall of our banking system,” said
Georgiades said the work of the council is undermined by the fact that it is understaffed, and essentially forced to evaluate the government’s forecasts and produce reports with just two people working on the task.
“We are basically running the show with a handful of people. The board is just three people, myself, employed fulltime and two part-time board members who come in once a month for meetings.
“Despite the fact that parliament has approved the council to have 3-6 people on staff, they are withholding the relative funds”.
“This means that we cannot work on everyday projects, like running models predicting future developments.”