ECOFIN issues positive decision on Cyprus
Brussels, Mar 14 - The EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) issued a positive decision on Cyprus' Convergence Program, which means that Cyprus has honoured the commitments it undertook in the framework of the excessive deficit procedure, and in April or May an official community observation will be issued.
From the latest ECOFIN meeting it appears that Cyprus is in an exceptionally advantageous position to enter the Eurozone and to introduce the Euro on January 1st, 2008, as stipulated in Cypriot government's aim.
Figures so far indicate that Cyprus meets the three basic criteria to adopt the Euro, namely keeping the public deficit below 3% of GDP, the public debt below 60% of GDP or if larger to show decreasing tendencies, and inflation around 2.5%.
Cyprus Minister of Finance Mr. Michael Sarris was especially satisfied with the decision today, noting that the evaluation of Cyprus' Convergence Programme was ''very positive.''
He said that Cyprus has managed an impressive reduction of the deficit and the debt, adding that the figures were reached with the continuous high growth rates of the economy.
The Minister also said the government would press on with efforts to enhance corrective measures and that the aim was for the deficit to drop below 2% in 2006.
Mr. Sarris noted that a very favourable framework was being made for the smooth accession of Cyprus to the Eurozone on January 1st, 2008.