Technocrats representing international lenders have concluded their eighth and probably the last review of the Cyprus economy before the island exits a three-year economic adjustment program.
Cyprus was bailed out by the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a 10-billion-euro package in March 2013, which involved austerity measures, reform of the public administration and the restructuring of the banking system.
No statement was issued after the conclusion of the review by technocrats representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
But Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said in remarks to the press that the review was completed successfully, meaning that international lenders will approve the release of the last loan tranche to Cyprus before its adjustment program comes to an end in March next year.
Sources said the Eurogroup will meet on Jan. 14, 2016 to examine a report prepared by the technocrats.
But before receiving the final approval of the Eurogroup Cyprus has to pass legislation leading to the privatization of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority and prepare a blueprint for the streamlining of the state owned Electricity Authority.
Georgiades said he was confident that all prerequisites will be in place for Cyprus' review report to receive a final approval, which will also pave the way for the official termination of the adjustment program next March.
Cyprus will have received 7.5 billion euros out of the total loan amount, leaving 2.5 billion euros which will not be drawn, thus keeping down the total public debt, which rose to 109.7 percent of GDP by the middle of this year.
Georgiades said economic growth in the third quarter of 2015 reached 2.2 percent, safeguarding that the total economic expansion for the whole of the year will top 1.5 percent, much higher than a 0.4 percent projection by international lenders.
Georgiades added that despite the successful conclusion of the review, reforms of the public sector and prudent management of public funds must continue and decisions on the economy must be made in a responsible manner.
Georgiades was alluding to the economic policies of the previous government, which squandered a surplus of over 3 percent when it took office in 2008, drove the economy into a deep recession and shut Cyprus out of international markets, forcing it to seek bailout