Cyprus Solution Will Lead to Economic Development

President Nicos Anastasiades underlined that a solution to the Cyprus problem will act as a catalyst for the island’s economic development and will benefit several sectors including energy, shipping, tourism and transport.
During his stay in Chicago, the President gave a speech entitled “Lessons from the Cypriot crisis and the road to recovery” at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Anastasiades referred to the efforts of the government to avoid an economic collapse, following the financial crisis, the reforms that had to be carried out and those that are still needed to achieve viable growth. He added that Cyprus could serve either as an example to other economies or as an experiment for the Eurozone’s future policy design.
“To avoid the upcoming Armageddon and considering that the second largest systemic bank had already reached the point of no return, we had to adhere to an unprecedented and still questionable Eurogroup decision, which included a severe haircut of bank deposits”, the President mentioned and continued, “we also swiftly agreed on a programme of economic reform and fiscal consolidation”.
Anastasiades optimistically stated, “Most importantly, I can proudly present Cyprus as a success story of economic reform. The Cypriot people have displayed great patience and resilience and we have turned the page. We are emerging stronger from the crisis and we can be very optimistic for the future”.
“Cyprus has officially exited recession, and is registering growth as of this year. A much stronger growth than anyone had expected. We are on the road towards full recovery”, with a “restructured and fully recapitalized banking sector and with a strong presence of major US investors like Wilbur Ross and Third Point”, the President highlighted.
With regards to reforms, Anastasiades mentioned that some of them have already been established and others are at an advanced stage of implementation. These reforms include, a pension system reform, Minimum Guaranteed Income for those in need, public and tax administration reforms, an ambitious privatisations programme, a digital strategy, a judicial reform and reducing bureaucracy in order to attract foreign direct investment.
“Cyprus has paid a big price, not only from our own wrong policies, but also from the weaknesses of the economic governance and supervision of the Eurozone and the EU”, the President remarked.
The President spoke about the ongoing Cyprus problem and expressed his wish to turn Cyprus into a federal union in the context of reaching a settlement which will “reunite the country, its people, the economy, and will establish good relations with Turkey and will comprise all the parameters conducive to economic development, business and investment; regional stability, and open markets”.
He further underlined that “Cyprus is at the turning point of history and is addressing all the big strategic questions of the future. The gas reserves discovered within our Exclusive Economic Zone, but also in our neighbourhood, worth billions of Euro, are destined to transform Cyprus into an important international energy hub”.
“For this reason, we will continue building bridges with our neighbours and we will step-up the efforts to re-unite our country,” Anastasiades concluded.