The time for a political decision is close, considering that only 25 days are left before Governor of Central Bank of Cyprus Chrystalla Georghadji retires. However, the President of the Republic appears to be in no rush to announce the much-anticipated name of her successor, with insiders saying he is too busy with other issues at the moment.
At the same time, the list of candidates appears to be limited, while behind the scenes political moves over Georghadji’s replacement are not ruled out. However, a new name seems to have been added to the list over the past few days — that of George Syrihas who has served as an executive member of the Board of Directors of the supervisory body.
He was appointed there back in September 2013 and his term expired in September 2018. He had been a rumoured candidate for the position of the central banker once again in the past. And he is one of the CBC officers with inside knowledge of the state of play just before the 2013 collapse of the island’s banking system.
Up until last week, reliable information had incumbent Executive Director of the Central Bank and former Commissioner for Privatisation Constantinos Herodotou as favourite. He has vast experience in investment banking and the necessary political support for the appointment considering that Finance Minister Harris Georgiades and other political figures are reportedly behind him.
Another rumoured candidate is Andreas Peristianis who has served as a non-executive member of the Board of Directors. His term has just expired.
Another possible candidate was Greek banker Takis Arapoglou who has been ruled out since he has recently taken up the position of chairman of the Board of Bank of Cyprus. Emilios Kyriacou, Managing Director of Citibank Greece, is also on the rumoured list.
The Governor is expected to leave the crucial post in April after her term expires. Her appointment was announced on March 11, 2014 and she assumed duties on April 11, 2014. In addition to the new Governor, the government is also expected to decide on filling the posts of two remaining members of the Board – one executive and the second non-executive. Based on the annual report for 2017, the Governor’s fee was €152,000 yearly.