Cyprus & World News

Troika, Cyprus end 4th bailout talks, ports privatisation in 2015

15 May, 2014

Talks between the Troika of international lenders and the Cyprus government on the financial sector have concluded while discussions continue on fiscal and structural reforms related issues, with the mission of technocrats leaving the island on Saturday.

The Troika inspectors had two rounds of talks with government and public sector officials, as well as politicians and stakeholders, and their discussions have ranged from the delay in implementation of a national health service to the privatisation of government owned services and assets.
In order to release the next tranche of the 10 bln euros bailout money, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund want to see substantial progress in three key areas:
- regulations on the Fiscal Council should be adopted;
- a bill on the composition of the Resolution Authority must be approved; and,
- a report on what actions have been implemented in the past six months in relation to money laundering should be submitted to OECD by the end of May.
A meeting between the Troika mission chiefs, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades and Central Bank Governor Chrystalla Georghadji on Friday morning signalled the conclusion of talks on the financial sector, with the officials expected to submit their revised report on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, Communications and Works Minister Marios Demetriades said talks with the Troika mission on matters relating to his ministry had “gone well”.
Demetriades said that the privatisation of services at the port of Limassol is going ahead as planned, reiterating that the time frame is to complete this process by the end of 2015.
The privatisation of at least eight semi-governmental organisations, including the Cyprus Ports Authority, the telecom operator Cyta, the power company EAC and other assets, is expected to fetch 1.8 bln euros for the state and is one of the preconditions set in Cyprus’ bailout agreement that foresees “less government” in many public services.