Incoming appointees, Interior minister Constantinos Petrides, Undersecretary to the President Vasilis Palmas, and director of the President’s office Michalis Sofocleous, were officially sworn in on Thursday at a ceremony at the presidential palace.
Speaking after the ceremony, Petrides said “we are members of a government that has grown accustomed to tough circumstances, which came to power in the most critical period in the country’s history after the Turkish invasion, and managed to raise the country on its own two feet”.
“Our obligation, collectively and individually, is to continue this great effort and contribute to the completion of government policy,” he said.
President Nicos Anastasiades said the new appointees were chosen based on his confidence in their abilities and their potential to serve the country.
He expressed certainty for their moral character, strong personality, honesty, and patriotism, and noted that they are “three young people with excellent scientific credentials, modernising ideas, and significant experience in civic life and politics”.
Anastasiades thanked former interior minister Socratis Hasikos, who resigned last week citing personal reasons, noting that he served for more than four years with “loyalty and zeal”.
Hasikos, the president said, will remain one of his closest advisers, because “as Interior minister he contributed greatly to successfully tackling the crisis”.
“Let me extend my friend Socratis Hasikos and his family my wish for victory in their struggle,” Anastasiades said.
Addressing Petrides, the president thanked him for his “valuable and multi-faceted work thus far in the fields of reform and growth”.
“You are taking over a demanding and difficult office, an office that bears the stamp of your predecessor,” he said.
“But knowing your stubbornness, your determination, and your work ethos, I am sure you will get to work, as you have the entire time by my side.”
Responding on behalf of all three, Petrides said they were “fully aware of the challenge and responsibility that comes with it”.
“We are fully aware of our obligation to rise to our new duties, the obligation we undertake opposite you, and opposite the Cypriot people,” he said.