Cyprus to return to growth in 2015

Bailed-out Cyprus will return to growth in 2015 following a three-year recession, a survey showed, after the island won praise from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi (photo) on Thursday.

An economic review by the small EU member’s second-largest bank, Hellenic, said Cyprus could be on course for marginal 0.5 percent GDP growth from a decline of 2.3 percent in 2014.

It tempered this by saying growth could be derailed by slow structural reforms and a struggling Russian economy.

The report was published soon after Draghi, in Nicosia for an ECB meeting, said Cyprus had shown remarkable strength in toughing out a painful bailout deal.

“We know the Cyprus people have made considerable sacrifices,” he said at a dinner in his honor on Wednesday night.

“It is therefore encouraging to see that there are signs of stabilization and recovery on the horizon,” said Draghi.

“The program has been yielding very concrete results, in fact even better results than were forecast two years ago. Indeed it is remarkable that Cyprus is on track to exit the excessive deficit procedure two years ahead of the 2016 deadline,” said the ECB chief.

“All these achievements are impressive and command respect from the rest of Europe.”


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