The government plans to lift capital controls by January, President Nicos Anastasiades said, and Cyprus will be the best at implementing a bailout agreement with international lenders
“The goal right now is to create the conditions for growth and tackle the serious problem of unemployment, to stabilize the financial system,” Anastasiades said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The controls are being lifted. They will end within a timeframe of January 2014.”
Capital controls were introduced in March to prevent a bank run as uninsured deposits were seized to recapitalise stricken lenders.
It was the first time in the history of the eurozone that restrictions in the movement of money were imposed.
The president said Cyprus will be “the best” at implementing the agreement with the EU and the IMF.
“What’s important too and a good sign is the behaviour of Cypriots, a responsible stance, without reactions, without strikes, labour peace,” he told Bloomberg. “I believe that sooner than expected we will again be in a position to go to markets, but also to create encouraging prospects for the country.”
The EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week released the second tranche of the €10 billion bailout.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the country had made “commendable” progress in stabilizing its finances but warned against fiscal slippage.
“Risks to the program remain substantial, leaving no room for implementation slippages,” Lagarde said in a statement. “Continued strong ownership, including steadfast policy implementation, is critical for the program’s success.”