Cyprus Mail

Central Bank tussle endangering banking sector

By George Psyllides

MAIN OPPOSITION AKEL suggested on Friday that President Nicos Anastasiades was interfering with the Central Bank, hurting its independence and putting the stability of the banking sector at risk.

AKEL spokesman Giorgos Loukaides said he was concerned that the administration’s stance “constitutes an arrogant, authoritarian political intervention that undermined and hurt the institution’s independence.”

He suggested that the administration’s ultimate goal was to put the Central Bank under the control of ruling DISY and serve certain private interests.

Anastasiades said on Thursday he would press ahead in seeking the removal of the Central Bank governor, whose handling of an international bailout last March he has sharply criticised.

Demetriades had asked for a meeting with the president earlier this week, who rebuffed him and told him to meet the finance minister instead.

In a letter to Demetriades that was leaked to the media, the president charged that the governor was influenced by party officials whom he did not name.

The letter, published by private television station Antenna on Thursday evening, challenged Demetriades to name one instance where the president tried to interfere with his work.

“On the contrary, I regret to observe that despite your assurances that you would operate as an independent official, in many cases your decisions are affected by outsiders or party officials,” Anstasiades said.

Anastasiades said on earlier on Thursday he had furnished auditor-general with information backing his claim that Panicos Demetriades is not up to the job.

Demetriades yesterday met with undersecretary to the president Constantinos Petrides who was briefed on developments in the sector.


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