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ECB takes ‘dim view’ of pressure on CB boss

President Nicos Anastasiades and his administration were fully committed to safeguarding the independence of the Central Bank, the government spokesman said on Sunday, as the European Central Bank warned against attempts to pressure the regulator’s chief.

Christos Stylianides’ written statement came a day after the ECB president, Marios Draghi, said he disapproved of any attempts to put pressure on CBC governor Panicos Demetriades.

“We would have a dim view of any attempt to constrain or threaten or to undermine the independence of the Central Bank,” Bloomberg News quoted Draghi as saying at a press conference in Washington D.C.

Anastasiades has made it clear that he wants Demetriades gone.

In a televised interview in September he accused the CBC chief of being inadequate, adding that he was considering setting in motion the legal procedures necessary to remove a central bank governor.

“I am investigating and documenting all the things that make up the weakness or the inadequacy in the performance of his duties and accordingly, in line with the constitution, I will decide the prospect of referral to the highest legal council (Supreme Court),” Anastasiades said.

In a written statement on Sunday, the government gave no sign that it would back off.

President Anastasiades and his administration were fully committed to safeguarding the independence of all institutions, including the CBC.

“As far as the CBC is concerned, all government actions are fully in line with the Constitution of the Republic, the European acquis communitaire and of course, the rules of the Eurosystem,” Stylianides said.

Among other things, Demetriades is accused of allowing the now defunct Laiki Bank to amass €9 billion in emergency liquidity, which was transferred to Bank of Cyprus.

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