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Eurogroup to discuss solution cost, meeting important Georgiades says

Photo: CNA

The government expects the involvement of all European institutions, including the Eurogroup, in a possible solution of the Cyprus problem, said Sunday Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, noting that Monday`s briefing of the Eurogroup on the financial aspects of a possible settlement would be very important.

The Eurogroup meeting is taking place as the two Cypriot leaders meet in Switzerland for crucial talks on territory.

In its Monday session, the Eurogroup, will be informed about the state of play regarding the possible reunification of Cyprus, with particular focus on the economic and financial issues of relevance for the euro area, Georgiades said.

It will also be briefed by the European Commission and the European Central Bank on the main findings of the first post-programme review mission to Cyprus carried out between 26-30 September

“The Eurogroup`s briefing on the financial and economic dimensions and parameters of a possible settlement of the Cyprus problem is important,” the minister told CNA. “The Cyprus government sees these financial parameters as very important and expects all the European institutions including the Eurogroup will be informed and involve.”

Regarding the briefing on the findings of first post-programme review mission to Cyprus, Georgiades said that there would be a briefing but the issue was not expected to be discussed by the ministers.
“If there is anything further it will be referred either to Eurogroup working-group or in a next session of the Eurogroup,” he said.

It would be an opportunity for the Eurogroup to be informed on the course of correction of the economy which was continuing after the completion of the programme, with emphasis on a strong growth rate, the gradual reduction of unemployment and the soundness of public finances.

Asked to comment on the findings of the mission, Georgiades said he generally agreed with the results and expressed concern about the fact that major reforms were being delayed or pending for a long period before the parliament.

“We agree with the need to continue the reform efforts and to avoid such delays. As regards to public finances, we have drafted and we are implementing a balanced budget, essentially adopting this exhortation by the European Commission and the ECB,” he said.

According the mission`s report, the reforms undertaken by Cyprus during the programme have started to bear fruit with robust economic growth and positive developments in the financial sector. Fiscal consolidation has been crucial for strengthening the credibility of the policy framework and facilitating market access of the sovereign.

It was noted that it was important to safeguard these achievements, including resisting pressure to increase spending. The mission noted that the reform momentum had significantly weakened, with crucial legislation still awaiting adoption. It encouraged the authorities to renew their efforts on this front to improve Cyprus` growth potential and attract more foreign investment.

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