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.