Cyprus's bailout came with "harsh" terms but enabled the country to make much-needed reforms, its president told CNBC on Thursday.
This week, the Mediterranean island exited its three-year 10 billion euro ($11 billion) bailout to acclaim, after posting its best year of economic growth in seven years.
Nicos Anastasiades, the Cypriot president, said that the strict conditionality of the bailout package meant that necessary reforms to the banking sector, fiscal policy and state-run enterprises were made, rather than being blocked in parliament.
"Cyprus needed drastic reforms …. It was our obligation to face the crisis," the 69-year-old leader told CNBC via a translator.
Anastasiades came to power in March 2013 as the Cypriot banking system was collapsing and a bailout funded by the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund was about to be announced.