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Cyprus

Georghadji and Demetriades discuss handover (Updated)

By Staff Reporter

Chrystalla Georghadji, who will take over the reins at the central bank as of next month, met outgoing governor Panicos Demetriades on Wednesday morning.

Georghadji, who still heads the Auditor General’s Office, will assume her new duties on April 11. “The honour is great but the responsibility is even greater,” Georghadji told the Cyprus News Agency ahead of the meeting.

“Our country is going through a difficult financial situation and the challenges are great,” she added. “I will do my utmost to tackle the problems facing the economy and especially the banking sector, aiming at the stabilisation and the full recovery of the sector.”

Georghadji said she was looking forward to the support and cooperation of her associates at the CBC as well that of all stakeholders. “We can and we will succeed,” she said.

A statement from the CBC said Demetriades met Georghadji in his office to congratulate her on her appointment as governor and to discuss the smooth handover of responsibilities.  “It was a very amicable meeting with more meetings planned over the coming month,” the brief announcement said.

Demetriades resigned on Monday “mainly for personal and family reasons” although sources have said he had also cited difficulty in working with the board of directors – most of whom were appointed by the present government.

President Nicos Anastasiades and the attorney-general tried to convince public opinion on Tuesday there had not been any quid pro quo.

“I just want to say one thing: let us respect people and personalities even if we disagree,” the president said. “There was no trade-off.”

“He just (resigned) for personal and family reasons, and because of the prevailing climate,” the president said, without elaborating.

He added that the resignation was the result of an understanding between people who realised that difficult decisions were necessary when the good of the country should prevail.

Attorney-general Costas Clerides was quoted on Wednesday saying the decision not to prosecute lay solely with him and he had made his decision based on clear legal reasons. “The decision was mine and I take full responsibility,” he said. “This is a special case and the public interest must prevail.”

Demetriades will be receiving a payoff of around €250,000. He was appointed for a five-year term.

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