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Georgiades: privatisation plan is to satisfy lenders

FINANCE minister Harris Georgiades said the government decision on privatisations would satisfy bailout terms and provide time to roll them out in a way that will maximise benefits and limit risks and sensitivities.

The government must decide on a privatisation roadmap as part of the terms of the island’s €10 bln bailout from its international lenders.

Unions, however, have vowed to fight privatisations and threatened to escalate their industrial action if the government went through with its plans.

“I expect that (today) there will be a very logical and well thought first step that will ensure meeting the bailout obligation on one hand, and will give time and room so that privatisations are implemented in a way that will maximise benefits and limit risks and sensitivities,” Georgiades said in Washington D.C.

He added that the cabinet will take the initial decision that will allow the procedure to start gradually.

As part of its bailout obligations, Cyprus must raise at least €1.4bn between 2016 and 2018.

Georgiades said international lenders considered the matter a priority.

“We recognise our obligation and we will move within the framework I mentioned,” he said.

Earlier yesterday, Georgiades met his US counterpart Jacob Lew.

On Tuesday, Georgiades met IMF official Reza Moghdam and the organisation’s mission chief for Cyprus Delia Velculescu.

The minister was scheduled to speak at the Peterson Institute on Thursday afternoon (US time) and depart for Cyprus in the evening.


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