NICOSIA — Cyprus’ last remaining restrictions on transferring money abroad will be gone next week, the country’s President said April 3.
President Nicos Anastasiades said the lifting of the restrictions on April 6 represents the full restoration of confidence in the bailed-out country’s banking sector.
Cyprus, which is one of the 19 countries that uses the euro currency, introduced the limits — such as a daily withdrawal limit of 300 euros ($325) — to prevent a run in March 2013 when it received a multibillion euro international rescue in a bid to halt a slide to bankruptcy. Since then, the restrictions have been lifted gradually.
The rescue included the seizure of uninsured deposits in the two biggest banks on the small Mediterranean island nation.
Anastasiades also announced more than 300 million euros worth of infrastructure projects and employment schemes to boost the Cypriot economy and roll back a high jobless rate hovering at around 16 percent.
The Cypriot economy has consistently beaten international creditors’ dour forecasts as to the depth of its three-year recession. The EU predicts the Cypriot economy to return to growth this year.
“We’re announcing these measures to boost growth and to counter negative projections, we have proven that we can and have succeeded in doing so,” said Anastasiades.
The Cypriot President said a strong indication that trust has been restored is that the interest rates investors are demanding to hold Cypriot bonds have dropped below 4 percent.
He said the government will tap international markets for a second time since its rescue deal after the Parliament approves laws enabling banks to collect on bad loans. More than half of all loans in Cyprus are sour and parliament is expected to pass the laws later this month.
Anastasiades also said his government has taken steps to limit “the minimal” impact an undesired Greek exit from the euro may have on the Cypriot economy.