Minister of Finance Constantinos Petrides stressed on Thursday the need to safeguard what has been achieved so far, ie, macroeconomic fiscal and banking stability.
Addressing the Business Forum, in Nicosia, held on the occasion of the official visit in Cyprus of the Eurogroup President, Pascal Donohoe, Petrides said that `going forward what is necessary is for us to safeguard what we have achieved so far. That is macroeconomic fiscal and banking stability. We need to gradually return to prudent fiscal and macroeconomic policies, we need to abide by the fiscal rules of the stability and growth pact, strengthen our economic position".
“Backtracking on reforms that could harm the sustainability of public finances or the banking sector should not be followed, as they have a detrimental impact on our economy and the well -being of the society”, he said.
The Cypriot Minister also said we are and we want to remain and we will remain a constructive member of the euro area.
“We know of the distortions and the challenges still facing the economy of Cyprus but I must express my satisfaction that we have an open line of communication with Pascal with his Cabinet with the Eurogroup”, he added.
“For the first time the small member-states’ opinion and position is taken so seriously in the Eurogroup, membership of the Eurogroup has its benefits but it has also obligations and commitments”, he said, adding that “we are we will remain a constructive member of the euro area, the strongest currency union in the world and I would like to personally thank Pascal for the bilateral relationship”.
He further said that we all know that Cyprus had very difficult times, back in 2013 when the crisis hit the Cyprus banking sector and the Cyprus economy were close to a collapse, no access to markets.
“It is no exaggeration to say that Cyprus was on the brink of exiting the euro and perhaps the EU”, he said, stressing, however, that “our participation in the Eurozone and having the euro as a national currency provided us the necessary protection to weather the storm”.
Furthermore, the Cypriot Minister said through commitment and determination we have implemented the necessary reforms, it took bold decisions but we managed a recovery a fast recovery, some characterize Cyprus as a success story not in Cyprus but abroad, he added.
“These efforts were acknowledged by the credit rating agencies which eventually lift up Cyprus’ credit worthiness to investment grade allowing Cyprus to return to the markets and returning to the markets is not just symbolic”, he said.
Petrides also said that after a few years the Covid 19 crisis came there is always a rainy day but we were well prepared, as he said, “because being members of the Euro having proceeded and materialised the necessary reforms we were able to borrow fast, we were able to utilise the tools that the European union had provided to us, we were able to secure liquidity to support the income of people who would have no income during the crisis liquidity to provide support to the businesses that would have been bankrupt, that was not taken for granted it is because of the progress we made all these years being a member of the euro area, having respect to the fiscal rule book of the euro area, having proceed with the necessary reforms in the banking sector but nothing is taken for granted”.
“It takes years to build and to gain credibility and credit worthiness, it takes very little time to lose it. You’ve all seen how the economic situation can be reversed from one day to the other”, said Petrides.