“We wish (him) every success in the difficult task he is undertaking,” government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said during a news conference on occasion of the appointment.
Demetriades will oversee the recapitalisation efforts of the Bank of Cyprus and Popular Bank, Cyprus’ two largest banks, which are heavily exposed to Greek debt.
Stefanou thanked Orphanides on behalf of the president, wishing him a successful onwards journey.
“Every one must stand by the central bank governor especially given these very hard times Cyprus’ economy is undergoing vis-à-vis the banking sector problems,” Stefanou said, adding that the government would “stand by the Governor” so that problems may be overcome.
Relations between the central bank and the government had been tense and Orphanides and Christofias did not always see eye to eye. They two met on Friday for the first time in around a year when Orphanides was reportedly informed he would not be reappointed.
Asked whether there were any expectations from Demetriades, Stefanou said: “The Central Bank is an independent institution of the state. But over and beyond that the president of the republic appointed Demetriades, exercising his constitutional right.”
“It was never put to any President to explain any one’s appointment or non-appointment or termination decisions. Each is judged according to their own actions and work,” Stefanou said.
Demetriades has been a professor of financial economics at the University of Leicester in Britain since 2000, teaching banking, monetary and financial systems and growth.
He studied economics at Essex and moved on to Cambridge University to complete a doctoral dissertation on the costs of inflation. He served a term at the Central Bank between 1985 and 1990 in its economic research department where he worked on monetary policy.
Born and raised in Limassol, Demetriades is a married father of three. His five year term starts on May 3, a day after Orphanides’ term expires.
By Poly Pantelides
Published on April 29, 2012