Cyprus is on the road to a “new economic miracle” following a near meltdown last year that was prevented by a 10-billion-euro international bailout, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday.
“It seems that Cyprus is on the road to a new economic miracle, and this has not escaped the attention and appreciation of international creditors or the international press,” the president said during an exports award ceremony.
Even a harshly critical German financial press has changed its tune over Cyprus, he said, after some claimed the Mediterranean island’s banks had been laundering dirty Russian money.
“After many negative reports in recent months, the German press is now obliged to praise Cyprus’s effort to advance the necessary reforms. They report that Cyprus has now fully achieved its objectives from the beginning of the program,” said Anastasiades.
He said the latest evaluation of the economy by the troika foresees a primary deficit this year of 277 million euros, or 1.8 percent of GDP, a figure significantly lower than the 483 million euros previously forecast.
At the same time, they said the recession-hit economy contracted 5.3 percent in 2013, a lot less than the 8.7 percent projected at the time of the bailout.
The last Cypriot economic “miracle” was during the boom years of the 1980s, when the country overcame the devastating effects of the 1974 Turkish invasion.