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‘Remarkable’ progress in adjustment programme

Palace ceremony for new new German ambassador Nikolai von Schoepff (right)

By Stefanos Evripidou

CYPRUS HAS made “remarkable” progress in implementing its economic adjustment programme, said new German Ambassador Nikolai von Schoepff yesterday, heaping praise on the economic achievements of the Cypriot government.

During a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace where the new ambassador handed over his credentials to President Nicos Anastasiades, von Schoepff hailed the “excellent” bilateral relations between the two countries, noting that the Cypriot president’s official visit to Berlin last May was the first such visit in over 20 years.

The German diplomat further heaped praise on the government’s tackling of the economic crisis.

Cyprus’ economy is on the way towards stabilization, he said, adding that, “the progress of the country concerning the implementation of (the) economic adjustment programme is remarkable”.

The Cypriot government successfully completed four rounds of review by the troika, he noted.

“Reforms implemented so far have included large scale restructuring of the banking system, measures to strengthen fiscal discipline, and the adoption of legislation enabling the privatisation of state owned entities. Cyprus’ return to the international financial markets and the improved scores of the international rating agencies are tangible results of this policy,” said von Schoepff.

He added: “Mr President, Germany explicitly commends your government on these important achievements and I am confident that all domestic stakeholders will assume their responsibility once more and ensure that an adequate foreclosure and insolvency legislation in line with the (Memorandum of Understanding with the troika) will be in place soon.”

On the Cyprus problem, the German diplomat highlighted the importance of maintaining a positive momentum in the negotiations.

“It is a difficult task, but not a mission impossible,” he said.

Von Schoepff underlined that a settlement would be to the benefit of all Cypriots, particularly at a time of economic uncertainties.

“Young Cypriots need perspectives for a prosperous future, exploiting the islands potentials jointly,” he said, voicing support to any confidence-building measures that could create a climate of mutual trust and give impetus to the talks.

Speaking on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of German reunification, the new ambassador said in an interview with Cyprus News Agency: “As Berlin is united again, Nicosia remains the only divided capital in Europe. Germany continues to support any real progress towards a comprehensive and viable solution within the UN and EU framework.”

He added: “Germans have benefited greatly from reunification. Politically, because we finally achieved full statehood; economically, because our internal market grew; and most of all personally, because Germans on both sides of the iron curtain finally gained the freedom to move, settle and visit each other without restrictions.”.

Anastasiades also accepted the diplomatic credentials of the ambassadors of Montenegro, Algeria and Moldova yesterday.

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