Greek Cyprus appoints new central bank chief

Greek Cyprus appoints new central bank chief

NICOSIA - Agence Francçe-Presse
Greek Cyprus appointed over the weekend a professor at an English university as its new central
bank governor to replace Athanasios Orphanides at a time when the small EU member’s economy is struggling.

Panicos Demetriades, a former central bank official and currently professor of financial economics at the University of Leicester in central England, will take over as governor.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said his five-year tenure would officially begin on May 3.

“In these very difficult times for the [Greek] Cyprus economy, and the problems in the banking sector, we should all stand next to the new central bank governor,” he told reporters.

The change comes at a time when the Greek Cyprus economy is struggling to find its way out of recession, with a Greek-debt exposed bank needing to find around 1.5 billion euros to recapitalize.

There is also a fear that the cash-strapped government may need to step in to bail out the banking system.

Orphanides, a vocal critic of the government’s spending strategy, was himself officially criticized for not closely monitoring the banking system and accused of allowing it to be overexposed to Greek toxic debt.

Greek Cyprus, central bank