Cyprus Mail

Fin Min urges parliament to approve key privatisation bill

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades urged parliament on Thursday to approve a bill on the privatisation of state telecoms company CyTA, thus meeting the conditions set by the island’s international lenders.

As Cyprus nears the completion of its three-year bailout adjustment programme, to be phased out by March, Georgiades stressed that it was important to finish on positive note, as has been the case in the past three years.

Unions and opposition parties are against government’ plans to privatise CyTA, and discussion of a related bill has stalled.

Approval of the bill, providing for the creation of separate company, is a condition set by international lenders for the release of the last tranche of €400mln. It also means Cyprus will get a positive review.

Georgiades urged parliament to pass the bill on the creation of the company to “allow us to complete the programme in a positive way.”

He added: “This will help us a lot in subsequent efforts, not only to attract investment … but also in fully restoring confidence.”

The minister said Cyprus could not afford to leave things behind.

“We have come a long way, but we don’t have the luxury to postpone important decisions,” he said.

“That is why I urge parliament to properly prioritise such reform bills, which our country needs anyway, but also allow us to complete the programme positively as an additional bonus.”

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