NICOSIA — Cyprus’ finance minister said Friday he expects the country’s next regular review of its bailout program will be positive, allowing rescue cash to again flow into state coffers after a months-long delay.
Harris Georgiades said the review will wrap up in the next few days once “technical matters” are cleared up regarding foreclosure and insolvency laws that make it easier for banks to collect on a huge amount of bad loans.
“What has been confirmed is the very significant progress regarding the course of reforms to our economy,” Georgiades said.
In a statement, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank hailed Cyprus’ progress on its reform and “strong improvement” in its public finances.
They welcomed the adoption of the foreclosure and insolvency laws they called a “critical step” in reducing the number of bad loans and getting the economy growing again.
They said the review will conclude as soon as all the “elements of the insolvency and foreclosure framework are available.”
Once the review is completed, eurozone member Cyprus will also be eligible to take part in the ECB’s trillion-euro bond-buying stimulus program, Georgiades said.
The country’s creditors have held up bailout money after Cypriot lawmakers balked at putting the foreclosure and insolvency laws into force, until last month, when they passed additional legislation offering more legal protection to small debtors.
Georgiades said Cyprus aims to start regularly borrowing on international bond markets well before its bailout program ends in 10 months.
Cyprus has received 6.1 billion euros ($6.84 billion) from the 10 billion euro rescue package it secured in March, 2013.
The finance minister said Cyprus could defy forecasts that its economy will remain in recession this year if it adheres to its reforms and strict fiscal discipline.
Cyprus has earned plaudits from creditors in past reviews for sticking to the terms of its rescue program.
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