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31-12-2022 19:09

Televised New Year’s Message by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades

It is with strong personal feelings that I address myself to you, dear fellow citizens.

Today’s festive message to you is my last one as President of the Republic, the supreme office of the country, which you twice gave me the prestigious mandate to serve; a mandate that due to the trust, patience and perseverance you showed, allowed my Government to successfully handle the crises that we have been called upon to manage.

Therefore, before saying anything else, I would like to express my sincere thanks and also the infinite gratitude and love that I have for each one of you.

Dear fellow citizens,

In the last decade, we went through a series of financial and other crises.

No sooner did we assume office than we were faced with the imminent danger of state bankruptcy.

We boldly went ahead to take hard decisions of responsibility which, through your own sacrifices as well, led to a successful management of the crisis, thus allowing our country to leave behind the austerity measures sooner than some people had anticipated, to display promising rates of growth, to regain its investment grade, to reduce unemployment, to restore the rights of the workers and to reinforce the allowances policy to the benefit of the vulnerable groups of the population.

The implementation of the right fiscal policy resulted in restoring the credibility of the Cypriot economy and in public and private investment channeled into new projects as well as projects that had been idle for decades. Most important of all, it enabled the state to successfully counter both the financial and health consequences and effects of the pandemic that struck humanity in 2020.

Suffice to say that the Government spent 3,5 billion euros from public funds to support businesses and employees, whilst, due to the dire efforts of the health workers, to whom once again I express the gratitude of us all, and of course due to the introduction of the GESY (General Healthcare System), Cyprus ranks second worldwide in minimal mortality numbers and among the most effective countries in combating the pandemic.

Sadly, the global Health ordeal was followed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result, in addition to the inflationary trends caused by the pandemic, we had to deal with the negative economic effects from the sanctions rightfully imposed by the European Union and many other countries against Russia.

This in turn brought about the energy crisis and consequent negative effects in many other sectors of the economy, with forecasts anticipating recession rather than growth for the year we are about to welcome.

In spite of all this and notwithstanding the negative financial consequences being recorded on a global scale, our small country has succeeded to manage them effectively, scoring growth rates of 6% in 2022, that is, double the average EU rate, while for 2023, which is considered a recession year for most countries, growth in Cyprus will range between 3-3.5%.   

At the same time, the 2023 budget presents surpluses despite increased development costs, while in the next two years we are expected to have almost full employment conditions, against today’s 6.8% unemployment rate.

Dear friends,

I really feel exceptionally proud that at the end of my term I shall be handing over a state that is:

(a)   Economically robust and strong.

(b)   Effective in managing and protecting the vulnerable groups of the population, with a minimum guaranteed income, minimum guaranteed wage and pensions above the poverty threshold, while a host of other measures makes it a veritable welfare state.

(c)    A state that finally has its own health system for all its citizens without exclusions.

(d)   A state that has a reorganized administration through important reforms, with digital transformation in full swing.

(e)  A state that has a new justice administration system as well as strict mechanisms to combat corruption.

(f)    With development projects that have regenerated and reshaped municipalities and communities in their totality.

(g)  With modern defense capabilities afforded by the highest expenditures in the last decades.

(h)   With a multilevel and reliable foreign policy that upgrades and fortifies our status as a state, making Cyprus a pillar of stability and peace in the region and beyond. 

Dear compatriots,

Although I confined myself to the minimum, it would be an omission on my part if I did not refer to the legacy we leave behind as a Government and which is none other than the national project “The Cyprus of Tomorrow”; a project that provides for the realization of another 58 reforms and 75 investments, with a financial impact of more than 4.4 billion euros and the subsequent creation of thousands of new jobs.

Dear fellow citizens,

I would really have been happier today if I were delivering my televised message as President of a reunified country, without occupation forces, guarantees and anachronistic intervention rights;

if I were speaking as President of a functional State fully aligned with the European principles and values, that would safeguard the human rights of its European citizens as a whole, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike;

a state that would give us the right to hope for prosperity and joint creativity;

where we would not speak of north and south but of the Federal Republic of Cyprus, with full respect for the rights of each one of the communities, based on the Resolutions and decisions of the United Nations.

Unfortunately, despite our resolve, the constructive proposals to meet the concerns of each one of the two communities, the efforts have failed because of the Turkish intransigence, as it was recorded at the historic Meeting in Crans Montana in June and July 2017.

And it is indeed with great sadness that, while leaving this office, I have to record my disappointment for not having achieved one of the visions that had led me to become actively involved in the political life of the country.

Dear compatriots,

With the coming of the New Year and despite the successes we have achieved, the external crises and the open wound of the Cyprus issue because of Turkish intransigence will continue to be the challenges that the new Government will be called upon to face.

In all modesty and based on my long presence in the political affairs of the country, I would like  to advise my successor to the Presidency, as well as the political forces -  whose patriotism I have never questioned - to overcome legitimate ideological  differences and to cooperate, having as a sole criterion the maintenance of political and economic stability and, in addition, through a viable, effective and permanent solution of the Cyprus problem, to secure the survival of Cypriot Hellenism, without ever disregarding the concerns of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots.

Dear Fellow Citizens,

I once again thank you from the bottom of my heart for the trust and love you have shown me, wishing health and happiness to all and to each one of you, in the hope that the New Year will bring our country peace and hope for a secure and safe future for all.

Happy New Year. Thank you.


Note: For the televised address in the Turkish language press here.

Note: For the televised address of the President of the Republic press here.