Solving the Cyprus Issue Will Be the Most Important Reform, Anastasiades Says

FILE - Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades addressing the 2nd Euro-Arab Summit, Athens, Nov. 9, 2017. Photo: Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos

Solving the Cyprus problem will be the biggest reform achieved by the country, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday, speaking at an event organized by think tank diaNEOsis at the Athens Concert Hall.

“The solution to the Cyprus issue will be the most important reform and will enhance its geostrategic role,” he told attendees.

Commenting on the collapse of talks in Crans-Montana, Anastasiades said that Turkey didn’t change its stance or its position and this is why negotiations failed. He added however that he is ready to resume talks provided that Turkey realizes “it cannot hold an independent state hostage.”

“We want Cyprus’ fate to be determined and created by [Greek] Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots” he said.
In the main part of his speech, titled “Cyprus after the crisis”, Anastasiades outlined the moves the country followed to exit the crisis.

“We proceeded to correct our public finances, implemented reforms, stabilized the banking system, attracted investment, provided tax incentives, rationalized social welfare, and so we managed to exit the memorandum faster than many were predicting,” he explained, adding that these actions spared Cyprus a second or third bailout which many had presupposed.

He said the country managed to return to the markets in spring 2015, borrow with low interest rates and eventually upgrade its creditworthiness.

“For the third year in a row, the economy is continuing on a stable path of economic development,” he added.


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