CYPRUS: New Finance Minister says you can’t play games with the economy

You can’t play around with the economy as you will be punished the following day, said Constantinos Petrides in his first comments as Cyprus’ new Finance Minister.

Petrides was talking to CyBC journalists after being sworn in as Finance Minister, President Nicos Anastasiades decided to move him from the Interior Ministry in a mini government reshuffle.

Acknowledging challenges ahead, Petrides said he is fully aware of the responsibilities that come along with the Finance Ministry portfolio and feels honoured to be intrusted with the position by President Anastasiades.

He praised predecessor Harris Georgiades, who stood down after navigating Cyprus through the bailout to economic recovery, noting that his shoes will be hard to fill.

“I will devote myself to that task in earnest, working silently and when the time comes, I will talk about issues troubling the economy,” Petrides said.

He noted that the President’s programme contains radical reforms, and the four new ministers acknowledge the difficulties in bringing it to fruition.

He said that much of his energy will be spent on implementing the government’s reform agenda, maintaining fiscal discipline which cannot be taken for granted at any stage.

He said it was important not to deviate from the fiscal path the government following as it has led to several upgrades from junk status by international rating agencies.

Source: The Financial Mirror