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Council of Ministers hold final session (updated)

File photo: Cabinet

The bar has been set very high by the outgoing council of ministers, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday speaking during the current cabinet’s final session.

Anastasiades told both outgoing ministers and those set to take up their duties on March 1 that the past five years have comprised an excellent cooperation.

During the session, the President assured his ministers that he would be by their side to discuss any initiatives or assist with any problems until they settled into their new positions, deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said.

Anastasiades stipulated each minister had been successful in their own respective field, setting the bar very high.

The new ministers should bear that in mind, the president added, welcoming them on board.

Although the past five years were difficult with a lot of challenges, the period was characterised as a fraternal cooperation and subsequently thanked by the public during the presidential elections, Anastasiades said according to the spokesman.

In its final session, Cabinet decided that employees with open-ended state contracts should have the same treatment as civil servants where sick leave and leave of absence were concerned.

Ministers also approved the creation of a multidisciplinary team to deal with problems children born deaf face, until the age of three.

Set to come into operation within three months, Papadopoulos said there would be free checks and diagnoses to confirm the impairment.

This is an important development so that it can be dealt with promptly as opposed to discovering the problem years later or during schooling and in turn, create learning problems.

Exiting the presidential palace, outgoing Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said he was certain the new ministers would do an excellent job.

“The president thanked us, he was very moved and so were we. He gave us a great opportunity which was a great honour because serving your country has great value, particularly during the period we went through.”

Demetriades said he was set to meet with Vasiliki Anastasiades, who will be taking his seat and Natassa Pilides, Deputy Minister of Shipping, the first to be filling the newly created post.

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