NICOSIA – Technocrats from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the Troika, began a series of meetings with semi-governmental organisations in the context of Cyprus’ application for financial assistance from European Stability Mechanism.
The meetings come one day after a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels which affirmed its intention to conclude with the Cypriot authorities a memorandum of understanding on the terms for the financial assistance package estimated at 17 billion euro by the end of March. ECB Executive Board member Jorg Asmussen told reporters yesterday in Brussels that Troika technocrats will begin today meetings in Cyprus to scrutinise the island’s public sector needs.
So far, the Troika technocrats met with the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, the Cyprus Port Authority, the Cyprus Electricity Authority, the Cyprus State Fairs Authority and will also meet the Cyprus Land Development Corporation as well as the Cyprus Stock Exchange.
The meetings and the inquiries are based on a questionnaire that has been sent in advance to these organisations and cover issues such as the operational costs, the laws and regulations covering their operations and their development plans.
Press reports suggest that one of the conditions for the granting of the financial assistance will be privatisations. The preliminary memorandum agreed between the Cypriot authorities and the Troika, stipulates that if necessary to restore public debt sustainability the Cypriot government will consider a privatisation plan.