Insider Economy Finance Minister expresses intent to step down at the end of the...

Finance Minister expresses intent to step down at the end of the year

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades announced on Friday his intent to step down by the end of 2019.

Georgiades has been named by a committee of inquiry as the person responsible for the collapse of Cyprus’ co-op bank (CCB) in July 2018.

Although he described the committee’s findings as inaccurate, he said that he and the President were ready to shoulder the political responsibility for CCB’s collapse.

He added that his stepping down has nothing to do with the committee’s findings and that the problems facing the CCB  had delayed his decision to resign.

“I am not attached to the Minister’s position,” he said.

All banks in Europe had problems with non-performing loans

Georgiades explained that after reading the committee’s findings, he had reached the conclusion from the report that the CCB’s executive board failed to manage the bank’s non-performing loans (NPLs) and that the Finance Minister was held responsible.

However, banks all over Europe have had to handle an increased amount of such loans and have made successive capital increases, as supervisory requirements changed, he added.

“All European banks needed additional funds in the past years. The committee did not recognise that supervisory requirements constantly change,” he said.

The Minister compared CCB with Alpha Bank, whose president Giorgos Georgiou sat on the committee of inquiry and said that Alpha Bank’s non-performing loan situation was the second worse after the CCB.

He said that the management of NPLs by the CCB was the same as by other commercial banks.

Asked to comment on why the bank’s executive board failed to reduce its expenses, he argued that spending decreased significantly and said that the CCB was doing better in this area than commercial banks.

Commenting on the committee’s argument that he did not select “the most able people” in key position of the CCB and did not act on his right to fire them if he deemed them incapable to perform their duties, the Minister said that the Central Bank also, had every right to remove them from their positions.

He also laid part of the blame to the CCB’s former CEO Marios Clerides – who was not selected by him – for also failing to reduce NPLs.

More recruitments were made during Clerides’ administration than when Hadjiyiannis – a personal friend of Georgiades who was selected by him to succeed Clerides (2015-2018) – was CEO, the Minister said.

Read more:

Top Stories

Health Ministry says students must have negative COVID tests

The Health Ministry issued a decree today regarding the operation of schools. According to the decree, every week the students of gymnasiums and lyceums must...

Police arrest man who stole watch worth 120,000 from a businessman

The Limassol CID arrested a 23-year-old regarding a case of stealing a watch. Specifically a businessman told the police that on 1 March he visited...

The man behind the reaction against El Diablo song

Demetris Pantopolis is the man who on 25 February started a campaign on his social media account against the song El Diablo which will...

Over 300 extra hospital beds included in plan for possible 3rd pandemic wave

A plan to manage a possible 3rd pandemic wave in Cyprus includes, among other things, the use of 300 additional hospital beds in wards, as...

President expresses to UN SG readiness to engage in Geneva informal meeting

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has expressed to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres his readiness and determination to engage with true political will in...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...