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23 July, 2024
 
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Christodoulides' pledge to safeguard Cyprus' reputation

Government takes action: Image enhancement plan amidst sanctions and economic trials

Newsroom / CNA

President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides has stressed that the government will not allow a very small minority of people in the country to tarnish Cyprus' reputation, which was built after many years of effort.

Addressing Saturday the Annual Pancyprian Conference of the Cyprus Union of Bank Employees (ETYK), the President referred to corruption and Cyprus' image abroad, saying that everyone must cooperate to change this negative image.

"It is for this reason", he said, that the government has reacted in the specific way it has, right from the beginning when the US and UK sanctions were announced.

Regarding the Cypriot banks, he said that they have made remarkable progress in relation to Non-Performing Loans, reaching a single-digit rate in 2022, at approximately 9.5% of total loans.

Saying that the government has already launched an action plan to improve the country's image, he stressed the importance of economic diplomacy strategy.

Referring to the economy, President Christodoulides noted that "our economy, like the banking sector, has recovered and demonstrated resilience in recent years in a very difficult international environment, having to face unprecedented challenges, such as the pandemic, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine".

Despite these difficult conditions, he said, the performance of the Cypriot economy has demonstrated its potential, while in the medium term, it is expected to continue to show positive growth rates, "despite the expected slowdown, due to mainly external factors".

Public finances, he went on to say, are expected to "maintain their sustainable course, while high inflation remains a challenge, although its gradual de-escalation has begun," he said.

Regarding the Cypriot banks, he said that they have made remarkable progress in relation to Non-Performing Loans, reaching a single-digit rate in 2022, at approximately 9.5% of total loans.

He also added that high inflation, combined with rising interest rates, is expected to reduce the disposable income of borrowers, which may lead to difficulty repaying their loans. To this end, the President called on the banks to follow the restructuring procedures where applicable, giving special priority to vulnerable citizens.

Addressing the conference, the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Konstantinos Herodotou, said that the macroeconomic data of Cyprus and the developments in the banking system reflect the significant resilience that the economy has shown to the negative external developments of recent years, such as the pandemic, the energy crisis in 2022, and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Referring to the banking sector, he said that the significant progress of recent years is due to the hard work of bank staff. But he pointed out that "in the rapidly changing environment, challenges remain".

In her address, which was read out by the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Christiana Erotokritou, President of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou said that the Parliament understands the great importance of the banking profession for the Cypriot economy, underlining its support for the Union, but also for the effort to create the appropriate frameworks that will support the Union and bank employees in general.

ETYK Honorary President Loizos Hatzikostis, referred to the issue of corruption, saying that "we must regain our dignity as a people and put a stop to the those who think they can buy everything and everyone" and asked the government to make sure that this will be the case.

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Cyprus  |  presidency  |  government  |  economy

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