Bank working hours are unacceptable: Harris Georgiades says
It is unacceptable and provocative that even now the banks close their doors to customers at 1.30 p.m., Finance Minister Harris Georgiades has said, adding that even the public sector has been able to improve on this.
In his address at the 5th Nicosia Economic Congress, the FM provided an overview of the state and the prospects of the Cypriot economy within the framework of the European economy, noting that “we have a success story in the making, not there yet but in the making”.
He said that “the great dangers are behind us and we are on track for recovery.
Mr Georgiades noted that Cyprus has registered a positive growth rate in the first quarter of 2015, after 14 consecutive quarters of deep recession, adding that “this has been a landmark development which confirms the positive prospects of our economy”.
He said that “an equally a positive development of the past few weeks which confirmed the restoration of trust and confidence to the Cypriot economy was the full lifting of capital restrictions” as well as the “the recent and very successful bond issue by the Republic which demonstrates the positive outcome for Cyprus in the international capital markets”.
Cyprus’ economy, he continued, is making steps towards recovery “which are still at early stages and remain fragile and have not yet gained the momentum which is needed to create new jobs”.
“We must maintain the effort and we should refrain from decisions whose solely objective is to raise obstacles in the path towards recovery”, he said.
Referring to the reforms in the banking sector, the Minister said that “no economy can recover and grow without the healthy well-functioning of the banking sector”.
“I consider it unacceptable and provocative that even now the banks close their doors to customers at 1.30 p.m. Even the public sector has been able to improve on this and I think we should all expect from the banks”, he noted.
The FM also said that “our economy is at a crucial turning point either we shall continue on the course of economy reform and recovery or we shall fall victims once again to the dead end policies of populists and inaction”.
“I want to be optimistic...but we should also be concerned because we are registering attitudes which show that we have not learned from our mistakes”, he said.
Referring to the public payroll, he said that “that’s one of the major tasks ahead...when the state will start offering pay rises again this happens in a manner which is aligned with economy performance and not in complete disjunction from it”.