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Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis: Cyprus Financial System Remains Strong and Robust
2008-10-02 13:02:34

Nicosia, Oct 2 - The Cyprus financial system remains strong and robust despite the world financial crisis, said Thursday Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis.

In statements after a board meeting held in the Ministry of Finance on the world financial crisis and its impact on the Cyprus economy, Mr. Stavrakis said that the government has the ability to use, instantly, up to 1.9 billion euro in case there is a financial crisis in Cyprus.

He added that the surplus of public finances and the decrease of public debt from 60% of GDP to 48.7% today, which has exceeded the government’s goal of 49%, are very encouraging elements which give the opportunity to a government to make use of this liquidity in case of a financial crisis.

Mr. Stavrakis said that he is in constant contact with the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus to deal with any issues that may occur.

“We fully agree that our bank system is robust',' he said, adding that “in the very theoretical and unlikely event that there is any problem, the government and the Central Bank will face it effectively.”

Regarding the Cyprus economy, he said ''it remains unchanged,'' adding that the immediate impact of the international crisis on the Cypriot financial system is negligible.

He said that if the international crisis continues for a long period, then, ''it is natural that an open economy like ours, which depends on tourism, foreign investments and trade, is affected” and reassured that the government is bearing in mind this possibility.

Answering to questions regarding his recent trip to Russia, the Minister said he held a series of meetings “in the context of the continuous efforts to solve some issues which concern our countries.”

He added that most probably in the next few days, a delegation of the Russian Ministry of Economy will visit Cyprus with a view to prepare the ground for the President Christofias’s visit to Russia this fall.

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