NICOSIA - Nicos Anastasiades vowed Thursday to work for a swift conclusion of a bailout for the island. "We are seeking the solidarity of our (EU) partners, and within that framework we will negotiate for the conclusion of a loan agreement the soonest possible," Anastasiades said in his investiture speech to the House.
"We are not seeking special treatment, but we are asking we treated fairly," Anastasiades said.
Talks with lenders have been overshadowed by concerns the bailout could be too big to ever pay off, giving rise to speculation of how to make it manageable, including debt or even deposit haircuts, or paying back less to investors.
"I want to be absolutely clear. Absolutely no reference to a haircut on public debt or deposits will be tolerated. Such an issue isn't even up for discussion," Anastasiades said
He promised to act as President of all Cypriots, without prejudice or discrimination, adding that he would be resigning as President of the Democratic Rally.
Speaking during his swearing in ceremony at the House of Representatives, President Anastasiades pointed out that cooperation was necessary to address the challenges, mainly concerning the Cyprus problem and the financial crisis.
Referring to foreign policy, he said the main aim would be the full, equal and reliable participation in all EU pylons and policies, the application for membership to the Partnership for Peace, and building relationships with NATO.
Regarding the economy, he said restoring Cyprus` credibility was necessary, adding that the new government would be undertaking its responsibilities and would guarantee stability and prospects for the economy.
President Anastasiades assured that measures would be taken to protect vulnerable citizens, and promote the recovery of the economy.
He also assured of cooperation between the government and parliament in order to face the challenges ahead.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said the National Council would be upgraded, would have a decisive role in drafting a comprehensive solution outline, and would decide on any new procedure for a solution.
President Anastasiades said the solution should remain within the UN framework and take into consideration the fact that the Republic of Cyprus is a member of the EU.
Referring to foreign policy, President Anastasiades said the main aim was the full, equal and reliable participation in all EU pylons and policies, and that the decision to apply for membership to the Partnership for Peace was in this context. "We must also proceed to build relationships with NATO as well," he added.
The President said Cyprus needed clear orientation with a coherent strategy that would safeguard Cyprus` interests in a solution of the Cyprus problem, the exploitation of natural resources, and the promotion of the island as a business hub.
Referring to Turkey`s EU aspirations, President Anastasiades said it was necessary for Turkey to change its stance towards the Republic of Cyprus and abandon outdated policies based on threats and controversy.
As regards the financial crisis, President Anastasiades noted that "the restoration of our country`s credibility is the first and utmost precondition, and will be achieved through the reliable and consistent implementation of all which has been agreed."
"The new government fully takes its responsibilities and will secure stability and the prospects of the economy," he said, adding that special care will be taken regarding the vulnerable groups of the population.
Referring to the bailout agreement, President Anastasiades said "we want Europe on our side" and assured that "through a bold and coherent modernisation, reform and development policy, we will confidently stand on our feet again, we will create the conditions for the restoration of the pride and dignity that distinguished us for so many years."
President Anastasiades also said measures would be promoted to restore the confidence of the citizens in the state and its institutions, to modernise the state, and upgrade the representation of the religious groups.
Closing his speech, President Anastasiades addressed outgoing President Demetris Christofias, noting that "the fate of the politicians is not judged by those present but by the sober and impartial judgment of history."