Cyprus Mail

Training boost from EU funds

More than 3,000 people and 870 businesses in Cyprus have benefited from EU funding to combat unemployment, while 1,800 jobs have been created, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said yesterday.
In addition, around 7,000 jobless people have taken part in training progammes and 82 companies have benefited from programmes in the tourism and agrotourism sectors, he said.
Georgiades was addressing a public consultation on EU funding in Nicosia.
According to the data he presented, Cyprus was allocated €660 million from EU structural funds, the cohesion fund and the European fisheries fund for the period 2007-2013. It has so far used up 74 per cent of total available funds, while the rest will be used in ongoing projects which are due to be completed by the end of 2015, the minister said.
As for the new programming period, 2014-2020, Georgiades said the total reached “after difficult negotiations, and after intervention by the President of the Republic”, approximately €960 million from the European Structural Funds and Investment.
Cyprus will get €788 million from the cohesion funds and the initiative for youth employment, €132 million from the European Agriculture Fund and €40 million from the European maritime and fisheries fund.
Georgiades also said there were large funding opportunities from competitive EU funds. For the period 2007-2013 it is estimated that Cypriot companies, local authorities, NGOs and other organisations and players were able to get up to €200 million in funding, he said, adding that the government’s goal was the funds to exceed €300 million in the next accounting period.
“We must ensure that European funds will be utilised in the best possible way and that they will be directed to the areas where they will have the most positive impact on the economy and society in general,” said the minister.

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