Cyprus’ banking system must regain its credibility and to this end the government has implemented to a great extent and with determination the rescue package agreed with the Troika (EC, ECB and IMF), House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou has said.

Speaking Thursday before an extraordinary session of the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, Omirou said that increasing the competitiveness of the Cyprus companies, promoting innovation, utilizing the specialized working force and upgrading the island’s infrastructure, are useful tools for Cyprus to regain its credibility as a reliable service and investment center.

He referred to the restructuring of the banking institutions currently underway, saying that the recapitalization will contribute to the restart of the economy. The House Speaker said that according to the results of the recent Eurogroup last September, Cyprus has taken decisive steps towards the stabilization of its economy.

Referring to the rescue package agreed with the Troika, Omirou said that unfortunately it does not incorporate any measures for growth and development but on the contrary it is based on severe austerity measures that do not contribute to the social inclusion. He said that the European Union, with its decisions on Cyprus, hasn’t shown any solidarity and on the contrary it has put the country before strict dilemmas. Omirou also referred to an orchestrated attempt on behalf of the EU with the alleged statements about money laundering which at the end, as he pointed out, were not proven.

In his speech, the House Speaker said that the financial crisis and the austerity measures taken in many European countries lead to phenomena of intolerance and xenophobia, referring to the recent incidents with the party Golden Dawn in Greece.

Referring to developments in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and the discovery of natural gas reserves, Omirou said this creates opportunities for Cyprus and its regional cooperation as well as prospects of a better future of its people. He said that natural wealth should not be an issue of conflict between the countries but rather a catalyst for the resolution of regional problems and tension.

Omirou stressed that Cyprus will not allow the interconnection of the Cyprus solution with the attempts to restart the economy, adding that this will put the country before dilemmas that will not take into consideration the right of the people to take decisions about their future.

He also referred to the resumption of the Cyprus talks expected to start in the coming months, saying that they should resume on a clear and agreed basis that will build hope for results rather than a repeated round of negotiations with no breakthrough.

He spoke of an assisting role the EU can play with the appointment of a European special envoy who will follow the negotiations and will safeguard that the provisions of the solution are based on the international law and the acquis communautaire.

In his speech the House President also referred to role of the Court of Auditors especially in this difficult economic situation many EU member states are faced with, adding that the citizens demand transparency and responsible actions.

President of the Council of Auditors Vitor Caldeira said that the role of the Auditors is extremely important, adding that they contribute to the decisions taken by the national parliaments as well via an established cooperation.

The member of the Council, Cypriot Lazaros Lazarou who served as the Accountant General of the Cyprus Republic, expressed hope that Cyprus as well as other member states facing financial difficulties, will soon overcome the problems and will get back on the track of growth and prosperity.

House Speaker is having meetings with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg and the Speaker of the House of Deputies in the afternoon. Tonight he is going to attend a dinner hosted by the President of the Court of Auditors.

Cyprus, an EU member since 2004, has been divided after the Turkish invasion of 1974. Several UN backed talks have yet to yield results. A new round of negotiations is set to start in the upcoming months with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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