Finance Minister Haris Georgiades announced today his intention to stay on until the end of the year. Opposition parties have called for the Minister's resignation in the wake of the publication of a report that assigns blame to Georgiades for the collapse of the Cooperative Bank.
President Anastasiades and Minister Georgiades have rebuffed the conclusions of the inquiry, characterizing them as contradictory and unjustified.
''The basis of the case brought forward by the investigative committee is that there were problems in the past but in 2013 the Cooperative became sustainable so there was no need, ever, for additional capital. The Board failed to reduce NPLs because it was incompetent and unsuitable. For this reason the bank collapsed and the Finance Minister is to blame'', said Georgiades during a press conference at the Finance Ministry.
''This, in a few words is the conclusion of the investigative committee'', said the Minister who took over in 2013 and has since then been credited with steering the recovery of the Cypriot economy.
''The committee assumes that any increase in capital constitutes a failure of management''.
''The reality is that in all of Europe, Banks like the Cooperative Bank, that had problems, required constant increase of capital''.
''The committee ignores that viability is different than adjusting to constantly shifting European regulatory data''.
Reforms will continue the Minister said, declaring that the Cooperative Bank case kept him at the helm of the Finance Ministry longer than he wished.
Georgiades announced that he will remain as Finance Minister until the end of the year but said that he will not resign.
The Cooperative Bank was nationalised in 2013 with 7 billion euros of non performing exposures related to mortgages and was unable to recover. It was merged last year with Hellenic Bank, a move that secured deposits and jobs.