New ministers urged to push through reform agenda

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President Nicos Anastasiades told his new ministers to work hard with decisiveness and determination to implement overdue health, education and justice reforms.

He made the comments on Tuesday, at the Presidential Palace after the swearing-in ceremony of four new Cabinet Ministers, appointed following a government reshuffle.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou and Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos assumed their new duties in a cabinet with only one woman.

Government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos and deputy government spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas were also appointed, succeeding Prodromou and Klelia Vasiliou respectively.

President Anastasiades said that a reshuffle is deemed necessary from time to time when it serves the strategic choices of a government and people’s expectations.

He said institutional changes and the complete modernisation of state structures in decision-making was needed.

Ministers were urged to intensify their efforts through hard work while making everything possible to implement the proposed reforms.

These include completion of the General Health Scheme and improving the efficiency of the justice system.

“Public service also needs to modernise, and local administration reform needs to be completed, and the education system needs comprehensive reform to enhance its quality.”

Development projects which need to be completed within the schedule include Larnaca marina, the Vassilikos Energy Centre, the relocation of oil facilities from Larnaca, the new Archaeological Museum of Cyprus, the Limassol stadium and several road network projects.

“What I expect from all members of this government is for them to engage to the greatest possible degree…to proceed with the implementation of government policy, reforms, national plans and development projects,” the President said.

He also said that ministers should find the courage to acknowledge their mistakes and take corrective action. “Only those who do nothing, avoid making mistakes.”

“The most important thing is to be in daily touch with the people and be able to sense their concerns and hear their suggestions.”

Speaking on behalf of the new ministers, Petrides said they were aware of their responsibilities.

“We are fully cognizant of the responsibility we are undertaking, we know that hard work is required and dedication, in order to meet the challenges,” Petrides said.