Finance Minister Harris Georgiades has described the conclusions of the latest European Commission and European Central Bank review of the Cyprus economy as the most positive ones since 2013.
The European Commission and the European Central Bank concluded on Friday 29 October their third post-programme review, and in a press release they called on Cyprus to renew the reform effort, continue fiscal discipline and accelerate the reduction of the high stock of non-performing loans in a bid to sustain economic growth. They also acknowledged that economic growth exceeded the expectations, facilitating better than expected fiscal surpluses for the public sector, the Cyprus News Agency reports.
In his statements to the Cyprus News Agency the Minister pointed out that these conclusions demonstrate the recovery of the economy, the improvement of the labour market and the maintenance of a prudent management of public finances.
At the same time, he said, they show the need to continue this policy, to promote reforms and intensify efforts to address the issue
of the Non Performing Loans and maintain budgetary discipline.
He added that all recommendations are noted and adopted by the government.
The Minister was also invited to comment on Troika`s reference that `Cyprus should use fiscal surpluses to accelerate the reduction in the still elevated public debt and to increase public investment in productivity-enhancing projects to improve long-term growth potential`. He said that he fully agrees with this statement and this is in line with the Ministry`s policy.
"We reduce the public debt and we expected that by the end of the year it could be marginally below 100%", he underlined, adding that "at the same time we are promoting very important public investments and new policies that enlarge the country`s productive capacity".
The Minister was also invited to comment on the visit of the President of the European Investment Bank who will be in Cyprus for an official visit on the 2nd of October, to sign a new guarantee agreement up to €26 million for the expansion of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING).
"We will take another important step towards encouraging research and development by facilitating one more significant investment in research infrastructure in a way which allows for the expansion of the productive base of the economy and the exploitation of scientific potential", he pointed out.
In the case of the Institute of Neurology and Genetics, he said, this concerns the provision of high-quality health services to fellow citizens.