New House Speaker calls for unity

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Annita Demetriou, the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House, called for cooperation and unity when she met President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday.

Demetriou had her first meeting with President Anastasiades following her election the previous day.

After her courtesy visit to the Presidential Palace, Demetriou said the government and parliament share the same goal of meeting the people’s expectations, but that could only be achieved with cooperation.

She said the two institutions must cooperate to meet the people’s expectations “and be able to restore our credibility and boost trust.”

“The parliament will respond, and we will be able to achieve the necessary results with transparency, effectiveness, and determination.”

Demetriou committed to launching an initiative to push for the approval of “much-needed reforms” currently stuck in parliament.

“I think we all agree that these reforms are necessary.”

“Parliament conveyed a message of unity and that cooperation is necessary. That is what we will hold on to and move ahead.”

President Anastasiades stressed that challenges ahead could only be tackled “through a climate of accord for the benefit of society”.

He said at the May elections; the electorate conveyed a message to the political parties that “more convergences are needed, more understanding”.

Anastasiades has called meetings with political party leaders next week to achieve consensus on the reform agenda.

He is preparing for a Cabinet reshuffle to seek a government of wider appeal in the wake of public anger over corruption scandals and the need to execute reforms.

Anastasiades had been mulling a reshuffle for some time but waited until after the elections to gauge public sentiment.