Nicosia.- (CNA) — It is up to everyone, both the government and the people, to work so that Cyprus can stand on its feet again, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said. In an address at the 45th Cyprus Union of Bank Employees (ETYK) congress, delivered by Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, President Anastasiades stressed the importance of everyone`s cooperation in this effort, that sacrifices will be needed.
“It is up to us, the government first of all, but everyone else as well, to address the situation and stand on our feet again”, he pointed out.
He acknowledged that the restructuring of the banking sector as it was decided by the Eurogroup in late March, has unfortunately been the cause of negative developments for the economy of the country. Negative external developments and the necessary correction of fiscal imbalances constitute without doubt factors which are expected to further affect growth, he added.
President Anastasiades said that economic activity has slowed down due to a variety of factors, the most important of which is limited liquidity. This is why, he stressed, we feel that the Bank of Cyprus must recover from the resolution status, something which will contribute to the stabilization and the normalization of the economy as a whole.
He referred to the government’s efforts to boost growth through EU funds and European Investment Bank funds, expressing his satisfaction for the fact that his request for extra funds was met with a positive reaction from EU officials.
A new era has to begin for the banking sector of Cyprus, he said, reiterating that sacrifices and cooperation on the part of everyone will be needed.
Through cooperation, proper management, common sense and hard work the banking sector will once again become the steam engine to lead the economy to growth, he said.
In his address, House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou renewed a pledge to ensure that provident funds are protected.
He said that he has invited Finance Minister Haris Georgiades to attend a meeting of the leaders and representatives of parliamentary parties next Thursday to clarify points made in a letter Georgiades sent to Omirou as regards the fate of the funds.
According to Omirou the Cyprus economy must urgently find itself on the path of stability in the context of a national strategy for reconstruction, in order for Cyprus to get rid of the bonds of the Troika, the memorandum and the loan agreement.
This, is a great challenge for politicians, institutions and the people as a whole, he said.
On his part Banking Employees Union (ETYK) Chairman Loizos Hadjicostis said a new Bank of Cyprus CEO must be appointed as soon as possible.
Every day that passes by, the lack of leadership proves to be detrimental for the bank, he warned.
He further expressed the willingness of banking employees to accept further payroll cuts and for a voluntary redundancy programme to be put in place, noting however that there have been no initiatives on the employers’ side to that effect.
Finally, referring to the government’s position on employee provident funds as expressed in the letter of the Finance Minister to the House President, he said it does not address several important issues.
During the congress Hadjicostis was re-elected for another term of office.