BRUSSELS -- Cyprus’ bailout agreement will be finalized in due time, European Commission Vice President Oli Rehn said today.
Asked during a speech at the Brussels think tank “European Policy Center”, Rehn noted that the implementation by the Cyprus government of the preliminary program, which has been agreed with the Eurozone, was a positive step.
The Commission Vice President also referred to the necessity to implement laws that have been passed by the Cyprus House concerning money laundering, along with reforms in the financial sector that will safeguard financial stability.
Speaking on the situation in the Eurozone, Rehn said that “our patient may have come out of the intensive care, but it will take a while until he gets discharged. We must remain on the reform path in order to breathe new life into the European economy,” he added.
A combination of prudent fiscal adjustment and economic and structural reforms was necessary, according to Rehn to bring about growth, competitiveness and employment.
He also said that 2012 was a year of crisis for the EU, but added that progress has been made and important decisions have been taken to preserve stability in the Eurozone.
For 2013, Rehn said that an overall improvement is visible, but added that there is no room for complacency and noted that the months to follow will be difficult. Within the year, he went on to add, Europe is expected to gradually return to growth, which will be visible towards the end of 2013.
For the Eurozone to recover, the pace of reforms needs to be maintained, while boosting competitiveness, the Commission Vice President said and referred to the examples of Ireland and Spain that managed to increase their exports. Greece, he added, is also gradually recovering its lost competitiveness. Rehn finally remarked that Germany and other countries with surplus must contribute in the efforts for recovery.
Cyprus, who requested financial assistance from the EU’s bailout mechanisms last summer, has reached an agreement for a Memorandum with the Troika (European Commission, ECB, IMF). The approval of the agreement is pending, ahead of a due diligence exercise to set recapitalization needs for the Cypriot banking sector.