Turkish Cypriot leader says plans underway for shift from lira to euro
ISTANBULTechnical preparations will begin in Turkish Cyprus for the transition from the Turkish Lira to the euro in case of a settlement on the divided island, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı has said in a televised interview.
He noted that during a meeting with Greek Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Oct. 12, they agreed to establish an ad-hoc committee to enable economic harmonization and aimed to finalize the transition to the euro as soon as possible with the assistance of European Union experts.
Saying the preparations are for maintaining peace on the island, he noted a one-year period for Turkish Cyprus to begin shifting from the lira to the euro following the approval of a deal through a referendum.
During this process, Turkish Cyprus will continue to use the lira, he added.
Akıncı noted that all technical details for the transition will be run in consultation with Turkey as well.
“This is a process. The transition to the euro and the customs union will constitute the first stages, which will be followed by harmonization in health, environmental and other issues with the EU,” he said.
Saying that these prior issues were voiced at his meetings in Brussels and New York, Akıncı noted European officials have promised to accelerate the process and both parts in the island have agreed to create an ad hoc committee to run this process on Oct. 12.
Turkish Cyprus Economy, Industry and Trade Minister Sunat Atun, however, said the transition to the euro is not on the agenda right now in a televised interview with Bloomberg HT on Oct. 13.
“We have already worked on harmonization matters with the EU since the 2004 referendum. I believe the transition to the euro is a theoretical issue. Such a transition can only be possible with the creation of resolution conditions in Cyprus. In today’s context, the transition to the euro is not on our agenda,” Atun said.