Discussions on the issue of privatizations will begin soon, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos has said, adding that privatizations are part of Cyprus’ memorandum with its international lenders.
In statements to the press after a meeting of the National Council for the Economy, under President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, Papadopoulos said that during the meeting an extremely useful and in depth exchange of views on all major issues concerning the forthcoming structural changes, and especially on issues of health, state social policy and privatizations took place.”
He added that it was agreed and decided that the National Council for the Economy will participate in a substantive way in the decision making processes in various ways, as an advisory body to the government.
Asked about the issue of the state social policy, Papadopoulos said that the Council informed the President that it has studied in depth the proposal of the government for a guaranteed minimum income.
He said that the Council fully agrees and endorses this just social measure, adding that there are suggestions that can be implemented and which have been discussed with the President and will be discussed in depth with the Minister of Labour.
Asked if the issue of the privatization of three semi-governmental organizations – Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, Electricity Authority of Cyprus and Cyprus Ports Authority – will be on the agenda of the Troika delegation that will visit the island in October, Papadopoulos noted that this issue constitutes an obligation deriving from the Loan Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika, adding that discussions on this will begin very soon.
On his part, Chairman of the Council Christophoros Pissarides said that the Council must submit to the government the soonest is proposals on the issue of privatizations in view of the visit of the Troika delegation in October. He said that the issue is urgent, adding that they also discussed with the President about the bank system and that the members of the Council exchanged views on the public debt. He noted however that this issue was not discussed during their meeting with the President.
Meanwhile invited to comment developments as regards the Bank of Cyprus, that will elect it new Board during its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, the Deputy Government Spokesman said that not only the government but all the people of Cyprus are interested in this issue.
He said that the government follows the developments, adding that the Bank of Cyprus is the main steam engine of the economy, due to its size.
For this reason, he added, the Bank of Cyprus must get back on track in the following period.
He stressed that the government cannot get involved in a private company, adding that the competent authority is the Consolidation Authority.
Cyprus agreed earlier this year with international lenders on a 10 billon euro aid package under which it closed one bank, the Popular, whereas deposits with more than 100,000 euros held at the euro zone state`s biggest lender, Bank of Cyprus, lost 47.5% of their value, after being converted into bank shares.
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