Washington, DC.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Consultations between the head of the IMF mission to Cyprus Delia Velculescu and Cyprus Finance Ministry technocrats lasted until late last night, via teleconference, in an attempt to overcome certain issues with regard to the text of the bailout agreement that Cyprus is to sign with its international lenders. Such contacts were also made with the ECB and the EU Commission.
A source outside the IMF said that there are developments everyday on issues of technocratic nature, some of which have been overcome, but there are others on which efforts still continue. The same source said the troika delegation will not come to Nicosia, unless they reach an agreement on these issues.
Besides the fact that in some parts of the Government’s proposal numbers do not add up, there also political issues that require high-level political contacts and it is not certain whether the troika delegation would resume its mission in Cyprus without having solved the main part of them.
“One should not underestimate the difficulties arising from some political aspects of the agreement, especially when they exceed the Minister’s and the troika’s powers” said the source.
Among the members of the troika delegation there seems to be a disagreement on whether the mission should begin in an attempt to overcome this matters in Cyprus, rather than through teleconferences.
Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has clarified that no date has been set for troika’s next visit to Cyprus. Speaking on Saturday, Stephanou also stressed the importance of moving forward with consolidating the banking sector in a sustainable and effective way as progress on the economy depends on that.
Stephanou also said that the Government would like the Eurogroup to decide about Cyprus at its forthcoming meeting on November 12, along with all other pending issues, but nothing is for sure, as he noted. However he stressed that Cyprus will not default on its debts.
Asked to comment on reports in the Press that Russia would give Cyprus a loan on the condition that it secures access to Cyprus gas reserves located in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Stephanou said that there has been no such a request on behalf of Moscow.