By Poly Pantelides
CYPRUS should receive a total of €874 million from EU structural funds during the period 2014 – 2020 that will be fed back into the economy to channel growth, the finance minister said yesterday.
Harris Georgiades was speaking during a finance ministry event on structural funds.
He said Cyprus’ economy was at a “transformative change” that called for correcting imbalances in the state and banking sectors and the creation of a viable financial model.
The Planning Bureau’s Adonis Constantinides said Cyprus should get some €526 million from the Cohesion Fund, €118 million from the Rural Development Fund and about €30 million from the Fisheries Fund. The majority of the project financed by the Cohesion Fund will target measures to encourage growth, he said.
Cyprus will aim to enhance competitiveness, support smaller businesses, contain its rising unemployment levels, target property and focus on energy resources, Constantinides said.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament plenum yesterday approved a budget of €3 million to be used by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) and cultural heritage.
The CMP has previously said it needed more than the €2.5 million received each year to sustain its work, in identifying the remains of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who have gone missing in the sixties and in 1974. It had already conveyed its need to the European Parliament and the European Commission but has also been trying to broaden its donor base.
In addition to the amounts expected to be released as part of the EU funds, the European Parliament has approved granting a further €100 million for 2014 and same as much in 2015. The amounts still need to be approved within the framework of budget discussions between different EU bodies.
This might be possible based on a law amendment adopted by European Parliament on the initiative of Cypriot member Eleni Theocharous to allow the increase of funding of certain EU projects form 50 per cent to 85 per cent and in certain cases, 95 per cent, as a temporary measure until at least 2016. Theocharous said Cyprus was claiming the extra €200 million in 2014 and in 2015 because of the debt crisis.