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19 June, 2024
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EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager visits Cyprus

Banking consolidation beneficial for the Cypriot economy

Newsroom / CNA

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager met with Finance Minister Haris Georgiades today to discuss the latest procedures concerning the merger of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank into Hellenic Bank.

“When you had such a difficult process and you take important decisions that are complex and heavy on the state it is very encouraging to see how it has enabled also positive developments in the Cypriot economy,” Vestager said.

Last July the state issued bonds amounting to €3.19 billion to support the transfer of the Cyprus Cooperative Banks' profitable operations to Hellenic Bank while non-performing loans amounting to €6 billion remained with the state and will be managed by a state-owned asset management company. Vestager noted that this should be done ''without political interference’’.

We are happy with the way things are handled here

On his part, Georgiades thanked Vestager for the cooperation, support and guidance.

“It is an issue which was difficult, it was a difficult political decision but it is a decision that works in the public interest, works to further progress our economy, and the benefits are already visible,” he said.

Asked whether the conditions set by the Commission have been met, Vestager said “as far as we know we are happy with the way things are handled here,” she concluded.

The Commissioner also met with President Nikos Anastasiades and the Director of the Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition in Cyprus Christiana Sideri.

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