NICOSIA - Chrystalla Georghadji became the eurozone's only woman central bank chief on Thursday, facing the daunting task of guiding the island’s banks out of a crisis that nearly sank the economy last year.
The 58-year-old former auditor general replaces Panicos Demetriades, who resigned under fire last month.
President Anastasiades, speaking at her investiture, said "it is obvious that in these difficult times... your contribution to restore confidence in the financial sector is critical... to return to growth."
She acknowledged "the extremely difficult economic conditions our country is experiencing" and said she shared "the sense of insecurity and distrust households and businesses experience on a daily basis. I am aware that people, like capital, are leaving Cyprus".
She said the primary strategic goal is to restore the confidence of depositors and society in a stabilised banking sector.
"This is inextricably linked to a number of other issues of high priority such as adequate liquidity in the economy, tackling non-performing loans and strengthening corporate governance in the banking sector."
Georghadji, auditor general since 1998, regularly highlighted waste and corruption in public life and campaigned against them.
Not only does she become the eurozone's sole female central bank chief, she is the first woman ever appointed to the job in Cyprus.