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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Shiarly feeling the heat ]

Shiarly feeling the heat

George Psyllides

THE FINANCE minister said yesterday that fresh measures for the economy would be announced soon, seeking to put an end to a public spat over their publication, which the opposition said had been stopped by ruling AKEL.

Following a comment by the finance minister on a radio news show on Thursday morning that he would make an announcement regarding the measures in the afternoon, it had been widely expected that he would be publishing fresh measures to reign in the deficit.

It did not happen and reports suggested it had been stopped by AKEL, which does not agree with some of the measures.

DISY and DIKO yesterday called on Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly to preserve his dignity by resigning. 

Shiarly said it was a misunderstanding.

In a written statement, Shiarly admitted he had repeatedly voiced his intention to announce measures before the end of May that aim in keeping the island’s deficit on target. There was subsequently widespread expectation on Thursday that he would announce them the same day, May 31.

However the minister said that in the radio interview that morning, “the wrong impression was given that I would be publishing the measures during the day. What I said [in the interview] was that during the day I would be making an announcement regarding the measures and not announce the measures themselves.”

The minister said the proposed measures will be announced soon. He added that the delay was “necessary” but did not clarify.

DIKO vice chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos called on Shiarly to either come up with measures or resign “because he would simply be an accomplice to what will follow.”

“My advice to the finance minister is not to wait for AKEL, PEO and Demetris Christofias,” Papadopoulos said.

The DIKO official said AKEL had humiliated Shiarly by pulling the carpet from under his feet – as it had done with the previous two finance ministers.

“The problem is that his humiliation will affect our countries credibility in the upcoming negotiations (to enter the EU’s support mechanism.”

He was echoed by main opposition DISY deputy chairman Averof Neophytou who said the minister should resign “if he wants to preserve a shred of dignity.”

Party spokesman Haris Georgiades later charged that it was AKEL that ruled and it was them who “are responsible for the unprecedented unemployment, the large deficits and the complete lack of growth and the now rampant cronyism.”

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou rubbished reports concerning his relation with the finance minister.

He said it was normal to have different views on how to tackle various matters and AKEL, like others, wanted to voice theirs.

Austerity and strict fiscal discipline cannot lead the EU out of the crisis that is plaguing it, Kyprianou said.

“We think that other policies can he implemented and this is our effort,” he said.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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