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New FinMin vows to continue path of financial stability and fiscal discipline

01/03/2023 16:09

Makis Keravnos, Cyprus’ new Minister of Finance assume duties on Thursday, vowing to maintain the course of financial stability and fiscal discipline.

Keravnos assumed the helm of the Ministry from outgoing Minister, Constantinos Petrides, who said he delivers a “gift” to the new Minister in the form of a fiscal surplus amounting to €609 million or 2.3% of GDP. He also announced that international rating agency, Moody’s will soon upgrade the Republic credit worthiness. Moody’s is the only rating agency to maintain Cyprus’ rating at junk level.

Addressing the handling ceremony, Keravnos thanked the outgoing Minister for the management of the economy which “is at sound course.” Thanking Petrides over the budget surplus he delivers, Keravnos also recalled that when he left the Ministry back in 2005, he also delivered an “equally sizeable surplus.”

“Surpluses are maintained for two basic reasons; one is security and second the implementation of policies which relieve the average groups of the society, strengthen businesses to be more productive and competitive and create new jobs,” he said.

“And the policy,” he stressed, “will continue and the pillars of financial stability and fiscal discipline are standing positions.”

He also vowed he will continue the good course to respond to the needs of the society and the economy in a time when challenges and problems are not over.

“Challenges continue, difficulties which you are well aware off, but with good work I am sure we will continue to the benefit of the society in its entirety,” Keravnos said.

Keravnos served as Finance Minister between May 2004 and August 2005.

In his remarks, Petrides said no one, neither we or the EU, the IMF and the rating agencies anticipated the 2.3% budget surplus generated by Cyprus in 2022.

“This was a result, not of inflation, but of the more than 6% growth we have achieved,” he added.

Expressing joy over the economy he is delivering, Petrides said he is certain that this will continue.

“I am certain that on the basis of these results we will very soon have an upgrade by Moody’s,” he said, adding that that Cyprus is gearing up to issue its first green bond.