Cyprus Minister of Finance Vassos Sharly said Tuesday that the government will do whatever it takes to meet its fiscal requirements during the first three months of the year.
Sharly’s comments came in the wake of the Eurogroup decision that the financial assistance programme will be agreed with the new Cypriot government in March following the presidential elections.
Cypriots will go the polls on February 17 to elect the new President of the Republic. If a candidate fails to secure absolute majority in the first round a run-off ballot will be held a week later with the candidate securing simple majority winning the presidential office. The new government takes over in March.
“We have to be sensitive to the issues which may arise in other member-states. We are the applicants; they are the lenders, which have to be sensitive to their own issues. If they say January, its January, if they say February, February, March, March. The important thing is this we have the ability to manage our fiscal requirements,” he said,
Recalling that some Euro area member-states resorted to the EU bailout mechanism without having the capacity to meet their fiscal requirements, Sharly said “we will do whatever it takes to ensure the fiscal requirements of the country are fully met in the firsts three months of the year, irrespective of which government is in power, it is the country that matters.”
Furthermore, Sharly said that the President of the Republics remarks on privatisations have been misunderstood.
Commenting on statements made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble who said yesterday that he is at lost to imagine a solution to the issue of the Cypriot bailout as the President of the Republic denies privatisation, Sharly said “this is not valid” because “the President has repeatedly assured that he accepts the memorandum as agreed with the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, and the IMF) and the memorandum has a clear-cut provision.”
“I think he has been misunderstood. The President is in agreement with the terms of the memorandum, I think some persons may have read it differently,” he said, adding “I think that all politicians in Cyprus have expressed the same view, that is, they agree on the memorandum.”
Cyprus applied on June 25 for financial assistance from the EU bailout mechanism after its two largest banks sought state aid to meet their capital requirements following a massive write-down of their Greek bond holdings as a result of the Greek sovereign debt haircut and bad loans in Greece. The Cypriot authorities and the Troika agreed last November of fiscal adjustment programme. The Cypriot bailout is estimated to reach 17.5 billion euro.
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