|Minister of Finance|
28 February 2013
|Preceded by||Michael Sarris|
9 April 1972 |
|Political party||Democratic Rally|
|Alma mater||University of Reading|
Harris Georgiades (Greek: Χάρης Γεωργιάδης; born 9 April 1972) is a Cypriot economist and politician. He earned his B.Sc. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Reading in England. He later continued his postgraduate studies in European Studies from the same University.
He is the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus since 3 April 2013, having been appointed by President Nicos Anastasiades. Previously he served briefly as Minister of Labour and Social Insurance (1 March-3 April 2013). He has a leading role in the implementation of the reform and consolidation program for the Cyprus economy. He participates in the Eurogroup and the ECOFIN. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the period 2014-2015 and is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank and the European Stability Mechanism. Prior to his appointment as Minister he was a Member of the House of Representatives with the Democratic Rally Party (2011-2013). He served in the Parliamentary Committees on Finance and Budgetary Affairs, on Communications and Works and the Watchdog Committee. He also served as Press Spokesman and as member of the Executive of the Democratic Rally and as Chairman of the Young Graduates and Secretary General of the Youth of the party. In parallel, he was Managing Director of a family-owned hotel business (1999-2013). He studied International Relations and Economics (BA, 1995) and European Studies (MA, 1996) at the University of Reading, UK and was a post-graduate researcher at the Institute of European and International Studies, University of Reading (1996-98). He graduated from the English School, Nicosia (1983-1990) and served his military service in the Cyprus National Guard as a non-commissioned officer of the Artillery. He is married to Eva Yiangou Georgiades, who works as a schools-councilor, and they have a young daughter, Leda.
Georgiades at CNN regarding the Cypriot financial crisis
"QUEST: But -- OK. So, you have an economy that you now really got to give this shock therapy treatment to. You're going to have rising unemployment, you're going to have a recession, and you've lost the financial sector to some extent. Pulling the strands together, how would you say to your people tonight -- I mean, I heard the president talking about hard times ahead. But as you look forward, what hope can you give them that this is a price worth paying, when you look at, for example, Greece, and you see the high unemployment in Spain, and your people will say let's just leave the euro. Get out of it, it's a busted -- whatever."
"GEORGIADES: No, no, no. There is no -- that's not an option for Cyprus, let me be very clear about that. We do not have an option to -- nor an intention to abandon either the eurozone or the European Union. We shall do whatever it takes to put our house in order, to fix -- the imbalances of our public sector. At the same time, we shall offer incentives to attract new business, to attract foreign investment. Cyprus remains an excellent destination"
"GEORGIADES: Well, we have to look ahead and we have to restore this confidence through a very decisive implementation of all the reform measures to which we have agreed. Let us not forget, the aim of the program is not to destroy the Cypriot economy. The aim of the program to which we have agreed is to improve the Cypriot economy --."
Interview on the Recovery in 2015
"WORLDFOLIO: You came to the Ministry of Finance at a particularly tumultuous time in Cyprus. However many have lauded the ongoing recovery internationally; going from quite a deep recession, to now, in the last quarter, a positive growth estimate of 0.4%. What was the core of this quicker than expected recovery?"
"GEORGIADES: I believe there was a combination of factors behind the recovery, which indeed exceeds expectations. The number one factor was the resilience of key productive sectors of the economy. The fact is that the core competitive advantages of our economy were never questioned by the crisis... The second reason which contributed to the economic recovery was government policy. We are a pro-business and pro-investment government and we had a very clear plan, an ambitious plan of economic reform and fiscal consolidation... There is much debate at the EU level about the growth versus austerity dilemma; we said that there is no dilemma, we would implement a growth friendly fiscal consolidation and the proof of its success is that we exceeded most targets that were set by the IMF and EU institutions."
"WORLDFOLIO: As you mentioned, reform is something that is central to the recovery, however these are tough decisions, and not always popular. In terms of assessing these reforms, particularly with regards to foreclosure and insolvency, what kind of progress has been made in terms of passing legislation?"
"GEORGIADES: Our reform for growth strategy has a number of pillars and directions and you have mentioned foreclosures and insolvency, which is very important if an economy is to operate with maximum possible efficiency. It should be easy to set up a business and it should be as easy to close down a business, as that is how an economy can keep adapting and evolving. In this respect we are identifying and tackling bureaucratic obstacles to setting up a business. The insolvency law provides for a new bankruptcy framework, as well as efficient liquidation procedures for companies. Whilst these are not sexy issues, they are key elements that form the foundations of an economy that is adaptive and competitive. The benefit will not become visible tomorrow, but this is something that will be of long lasting benefit."
"WORLDFOLIO: It is clear that these tax and business incentives will put Cyprus back on the radar of investors. However, we mentioned earlier the challenges within the banking sector, in particular tackling non-performing loans (NPLs). What are the main challenges for this key sector moving forward?"
"GEORGIADES: I would say that the main challenges moving forward are the still high level of unemployment and the equally high level of non-performing loans in the banking sector. NPL's are left over from the so-called good times, when we were riding a bubble. That was a time when economic activity was driven by an unsustainable credit expansion... This will take time to correct, it cannot correct itself from one day to the next, however having a new legislative framework is important and having an economy back on positive growth rates is also essential."
"WORLDFOLIO: There has been good progress in many of the banks with regards to NPLs, and I read that the largest lender in Cyprus, Bank of Cyprus, has returned to profit. Would you say that there has also been a change of culture in the banks?"
"GEORGIADES: I should mention that essentially the banking sector has undergone a complete transformation. We have completely changed rules, regulations, and supervision. We encouraged and brought in new foreign investors. Our banking sector is completely revamped, recapitalized and under new management. The presence of credible foreign investors is a clear demonstration of confidence. This, together with the new supervisory framework, which is now at the European level through the ECB, creates new confidence. As I have mentioned, not all things can be completely corrected over a year or two and that is why we remain down to earth and we are maintaining the reform momentum."
"WORLDFOLIO: Your colleagues have spoken about what brand Cyprus means... What does the Cyprus brand mean to you?"
"GEORGIADES: The Cyprus brand has sustained severe reputational damage, a few years back, due to the magnitude of the crisis and resulting bail-in in the banking sector. More than 10% of total deposits were lost. Since then, we are essentially rebranding Cyprus. We are maintaining everything that was healthy and strong but we are changing everything that was holding us back. We chose to treat the crisis as an opportunity. An opportunity for change. This effort is already delivering early results. We are back on positive growth rates and Cyprus fast becoming an island of new opportunities. I think this is the Cyprus story."
Cyprus Returns to Growth - The World Folio - Published 7 August 2015 
- "Charis Georgiades – from Cyprus Ministry of Finance". http://www.mof.gov.cy. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-06-04. External link in
- "Cyprus bailout: Finance Minister Michalis Sarris quits". BBC News. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- "Charis Georgiades is new Finance Minister of Cyprus". Handelsblatt.com. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- "The resignation of Michalis Sarris may be only the beginning". Economist.com. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- "Cyprus to get €1bn from IMF following restructuring deal". Europeanvoice.com. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Cyprus has until 2035 to repay its bailout after the IMF chips in". Thetimes.co.uk. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Exclusive Interview: New Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades". CNN.com. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- "Exclusive Interview: Cyprus returns to growth: "We Chose to treat the crisis as an opportunity"". TheWorldFolio.com. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
|Minister of Finance