16 December 2013 10:40

 Opposition Akel and the Greens Party have both expressed their frustration after talks regarding the selling of the Central Bank’s gold reserves resurfaced.
Akel’s deputy spokesman Stavros Evagorou said that selling the gold is “unfortunately” an obligation which is included in the bailout agreement and makes reference to a forced sale and revenue reaching €400 million which will contribute to the repayment of the €23 billion bail-in/bailout loan deal signed with international lenders.
Evagorou said it was not made clear what quantities the government has committed to selling nor the prices at which it will be sold, but pointed out that today’s prices will be lower than in the past.
He also stressed that President Anastasiades had proposed a series of measures to the Troika including selling off the gold, in order to avoid the haircut, but added that “unfortunately at the end of the day we were left with both the selling of the gold and the haircut on deposits”.
Evagorou also made references to the war launched on the previous government when the issue had been discussed in the past.
Green’s spokeswoman Eleni Chrysostomou yesterday said that her party is opposed to selling the gold and noted that the reference made in the memorandum burdens both the previous government for agreeing to its terms and the current administration for signing.
“We are struck by the fact that the current government is talking about selling our country’s gold reserves when almost a year ago as the opposition it had been infuriated even by the consideration of such an event,” Chrysostomou said.
“The Finance Minister has an obligation towards Cypriots but also future generations to make sure that the sell-off does not happen.
“If the previous government made a commitment, this does not obligate it not to make efforts to disengage itself, which is exactly what President Anastasiades promised during his pre-election campaign,” she added.
Chrysostomou called on the government to consider their responsibilities and not go ahead with the selling of state assests.
Last week a Central Bank official said that the bank did not intend to sell its gold to help the government meet its commitments with the Troika under the bailout agreement signed in March.
He stressed that the gold belongs to the Central Bank and only the governor can decide if it will be sold. Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said that the government was obliged to find €400m following a Eurogroup decision and that he had contacted the CB asking for alternatives options to be examined.


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