South Cyprus: more austerity measures outlined

The Greek Cypriot government has issued a memorandum stating that only the President and the parliamentary speaker will be entitled to fly business class.

This move is part of the austerity measures measures agreed with EU lenders who awarded a 10 billion euro bailout to South Cyprus. The IMF has contributed 1 billion euro to the package.

This ban, however, will not apply to transatlantic flights. Other measures include the loss of the right to by duty-free cars and all state officials and parliamentarians will have their salaries frozen until 2016.

Anastasiades warned of “difficult days ahead” as he swore in a new finance minister for an island struggling to recover from a near financial meltdown and the need for a crippling eurozone bailout.

This would entail “firstly, collectivity and, secondly, consistency and fiscal discipline and all those measures that will contribute to kick-starting the economy as soon as possible. I have no doubt that you will not only accomplish your task to the full, but in the best way possible that is worthy of your predecessor,” Anastasiades said to new minister, Haris Georgiades, at the swearing-in ceremony.

Michael Sarris, resigned his post as Finance Minister, on Tuesday. He said that this was to facilitate the work of the newly appointed investigation committee who would be looking at his activities as Chairman of Laiki bank last year.

South Cyprus is already in recession, with unemployment at around 15 % and this figure is expected to rise steeply this year and next.

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