President Nikos Christodoulides said on Saturday he was “deeply satisfied” after investment service Moody’s upgraded Cyprus’ credit rating to “investment level”, putting the success down to the success of the Cypriot people.
He thanked the people “as well as with the prudent, responsible, and disciplined financial policy of recent years.”
He added that the upgrade will translate into new opportunities, attract quality investment to the island, and create new jobs.
“This is the non-negotiable road we have been following for a government for the seven months we have been governing the country, and this is how we will continue to govern. We will continue to protect our economy and strengthen its course,” he said.
The government’s main priority, he added, “remains the support of the most vulnerable in society and the strengthening of the middle class, alongside the promotion of business.
“We are implementing an ambitious government programme which includes policies and reforms in priority areas which improve the lives of citizens and reward people’s great efforts,” he said.
Moody’s’ decision to upgrade Cyprus’ credit rating – from Baa2 to Ba1 – came alongside a decision to upgrade the island’s outlook from “stable” to “positive”.
The move also means that all four major investment houses – Fitch, Standard and Poor’s, DBRS, and now Moody’s – rank Cyprus in the main category.
Moody’s said the upgrade “reflects the broad-based maintenance of the improvement in [Cyprus’] credit profile due to previous and ongoing fiscal and banking reforms.”
They added that Cyprus’ fiscal strength has “improved significantly” and that the impact of the pandemic “only temporarily interrupted the reduction in the debt burden,” adding that they expect a reduction in Cypriot public debt to continue over the coming years.
Reacting to the news, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said it “illustrates the remarkable performance of the Cypriot economy in a very difficult environment internationally and reflects the government’s efforts to implement an efficient economic policy.
“The fiscal soundness of Cyprus has improved significantly, while the downward trend of public debt… is expected to continue,” he said.
He added, “the government will continue to support economic activity in the face of challenges such as the continuation of the war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures, and the energy crisis, in a responsible manner in terms of growth and employment and public finances.”
The finance ministry supports the Cypriot economy and society in a targeted and flexible way by promoting appropriate financial plans which will allow the maximum possible utilisation of the offered European funds and programmes, he said.
Meanwhile, opposition political party Akel remained less than convinced by Cyprus’ economic performance and pointed out a number of issues they have identified.
“While in most European states inflation is falling, in Cyprus it is increasing, and, in fact, last month, we had the biggest rise in inflation in the entire Eurozone,” it said, adding that the rise in inflation “reveals the consequences of the Christodoulides government’s decision to end [subsidy] measures for electricity and fuel, but also its refusal to prepare a comprehensive plan to deal with the cost of living.
“At a time when the cost of living is crushing society, the government says that it is studying the issue and will take measures ‘if the need arises.’ The fact that those in charge have not understood that there is a long-standing, urgent, and compelling need is part of the problem,” they said.