Cyprus' finance minister to leave post by year's end

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus' finance minister says he'll leave the post he's held since 2013 by the end of the year.

Harris Georgiades said Friday his decision had nothing to do with the findings of an inquiry that partly blamed him for the demise of the country's bad loan-laden Co-operative Bank.

Georgiades said it was time for him to move on after nearly seven years at the post and defended himself against the inquiry's findings which he called both "mistaken and unfair."

He said he still has the full backing of the Cypriot president who also criticized the inquiry as reaching "contradictory" conclusions.

Georgiades was appointed finance minister in the immediate aftermath of a multibillion-euro rescue deal that Cyprus was forced to accept after a banking crisis nearly bankrupted the country.

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