New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
IMF is in close contact with Cypriot authorities, which are currently formulating their privatization plans, IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday. He added that achieving the objectives would require “an early start to the process”.
Asked if this is a precondition for the next loan trench, Rice declined to go into details. “I wouldn’t get in to what or might not be conditions of the next loan,” he noted
During the press briefing, Rice said privatizations are obviously an important component of the program.
“It can provide financing to the state over medium term, but even more importantly it can increase the efficiency of the economy as resources are transferred from the state to the private sector which can help to spur competition for the benefit of the consumers,” he said.
He added that “the authorities are currently formulating their privatization plans and we are in close contact with them on assessing how specific modalities can achieve the objectives which I talked about. Achieving those objectives would require an early start to the process”.
Rice referred to the Troika visit to Cyprus earlier in November, during which they discussed with the Cypriot authorities the second review of the program.
He said that the IMF team is now producing a full report that will be discussed by the board in mid-December. “Once the board discusses and approves the review, the disbursement can be made,” he concluded.
A bailout agreement agreed with international lenders last April (European Commission, ECB, IMF) foresees €1.4 bln revenues from privatizations.