Greek Cyprus bank head warns against independence threats

Greek Cyprus bank head warns against independence threats

NICOSIA - Reuters
The head of Greek Cyprus’s central bank, accused by the government of incompetence, warned his critics on Sept. 20 that threats to his independence were harming the country’s recovery from crisis.

Central bank governor Panicos Demetriades has faced a fierce onslaught over his performance in the fallout of a messy bail-out for the Mediterranean island brokered with international lenders in March.

It culminated this week with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades disclosing he would consider legal recourse to have Demetriades removed.

Demetriades said the central bank had successfully handled the restructuring of the island’s banking sector, earning plaudits from lenders.

“I consider the criticism from the president unjustified,” Demetriades told the semi-official Cyprus News Agency. “Political intervention in the supervisory role of the central bank ... is not conducive to the restoration of confidence in the banking sector.”

Demetriades, a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank, was appointed by a communist government.