South Cyprus Finance Minister Michael Sarris has resigned today and has been replaced by Labour Minister Haris Georgiades.
Sarris’ resignation followed the conclusion of talks with EU lenders on a bailout for the South which imposed a huge levy on bank depositors in return for funds of 10 billion euro.
The new Finance Minister Georgiades will be sworn in at the Presidential Palace tomorrow morning.
Speaking to the press at the Presidential Palace, Sarris said that in order to facilitate the work of the Investigative Committee, he had placed his resignation at the disposal of the President.
Michael Sarris was appointed as non-executive Chairman of Laiki Bank last January. He said that the committee will be looking into the activities of the bank which will include the time period when he was chairman and that he felt that it was only right to resign under the circumstances.
President Anastasiades issued a written statement saying that Sarris’ resignation had been accepted with “sadness” and that Sarris had co-operated in an excellent manner.
The President thanked Sarris for his “valuable services” during the course of difficult negotiations with the Troika. He felt that the results of the negotiations were significantly successful with regard to the aims of the talks.
“But if there is something which I respect in particular but which I also want to extol with regard to Mr. Sarris’ act of resignation, is the high political ethos and political sensitivity that he has demonstrated”, the President emphasised.
Anastasiades also noted that Sarris’ decision to submit his resignation, for reasons of political correctness, in order to facilitate the work of the Investigative Committee, “constitutes a phenomenon of a new approach with regard to what is happening in the Cypriot political life”.
A three-member investigative commission, comprising three ex-Supreme Court judges will be looking for possible civil, criminal or political liabilities concerning developments in Cyprus’ banking sector and the economy, was sworn in today at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace.