Cyprus Mail

Kyprianou puts economy blame at president’s door

Former president Demetris Christofias

Two years after President Nicos Anastasiades came to power, the situation in the economy and society is depressing, main opposition AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou charged on Tuesday, as he claimed that the previous administration’s responsibility was smaller than the current one’s.

“Unemployment is over 16 per cent,” he said, and that was without taking into account the number of youths who emigrated.

“For the first time their number is bigger than those coming to work in Cyprus,” he added, suggesting that the figure would have been 23 per cent.

Unemployment, wage cuts, and pension reductions have rendered thousands of borrowers unable to repay their debts, Kyprianou said.

He accused the government and international lenders of protecting the interests of banks and not small borrowers who were now at risk of losing their homes or businesses because of the foreclosures law.

Asked if he had forgotten that it was his party’s administration that sought assistance from international lenders, Kyprianou said the party assumed its share of the blame but it had tried to avoid the support mechanism.

“We have our own responsibilities but the memorandum discussed by (former president) Demetris Christofias with the troika, which the Eurogroup did not agree with, did not include a deposit haircut, nor privatisations of semi state organisations, or rise in corporate tax and many other measures,” Kyprianou said.

It was not long before the government responded with a list of positive developments that followed the bailout.

These, according to deputy spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos, included the record drop in 10-year sovereign bond yields, reduction in lending rates, and the improvement in economic indicators.

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