Minister of Finance Vassos Shiarly has stressed that Cyprus has nothing to hide and expressed Cyprus’ readiness to acquiesce any money laundering or exchange of information for taxation purposes related probe by any relevant organisation.
Shiarly was called on to comment on a Financial Times article, according to which Cyprus is in talks over hiring outside auditors to study the Cyprus banking system on money laundering matters.
He further recalled that he has already stated his readiness for the IMF to proceed with a 2nd update of a report it submitted October last. We are ready to welcome them tomorrow if needs be, he noted, adding that he would be happy to accept an update of a Moneyval report published initially at the end of 2011.
He clarified that so far no official request has been made for any such visit to the island highlighting that Cyprus has in place all relevant recommendations on these two matters.
Shiarly further said that in order to brief EU member states which are not up to date on Cyprus’ action to combat money laundering, he will be visiting the Dutch Parliament next Thursday, after receiving an invitation to do so.
During his visit he will brief Dutch MPs on Cyprus’ request for a rescue package and will provide answers on any matters which are likely to be of concern to them.
He continued to say that the above invitation is the only one received so far, expressing however his readiness to present all necessary materials and “to send a very clear message on the part of Cyprus that we have absolutely nothing to hide and have abided fully to all recommendations”.
The Cypriot minister also said that the government has already ensured that financing needs until March will be met, adding that very soon, possibly within today, he will be in a position to say whether April’s financing needs will also be met.
Excluded from the international capital markets since April 2011, Cyprus applied on June 25 for financial assistance after its two largest banks sought state support following massive losses as a result of the haircut of the Greek sovereign debt.
The Cypriot programme is estimated to reach 17.5 billion euro, which practically equal to the island`s GDP.
The Cypriot authorities and the Troika have agreed on a four-year adjustment programme providing for measures totaling 7.25% of GDP (1.29 billion euro) for the period of 2012-2016. The Cypriot package cannot be agreed as capital needs of the banking sector have yet to be determined.
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