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Petrides issues new appeal to MPs to pass budget

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Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Thursday appealed to parliamentary parties to back the 2021 state budget as it constitutes the main weapon for tackling the coronavirus pandemic and for the recovery of the economy following the downturn caused by Covid-19.

Petrides was speaking after discussing the 2021 state budget with a delegation of the newly-formed platform for the Cooperation of Democratic Forces.

“I believe there is a common understanding over the critical moments facing the country and how decisive the next day will be but also (how decisive) the budget will be as the main weapon to handle the pandemic, the recovery of the economy and to restore the reforms the country needs,” Petrides said.

Asked whether the government will garner the necessary parliamentary majority, Petrides said if a sense of responsibility prevails then the budget will be backed as the main weapon to enable us to manage the pandemic.

Speaking on behalf of the platform, MP Angelos Votsis said they will examine the budget “in a creative way.”

So far, centre Democratic Party has said it will vote against the budget unless the government gives the audit service data on certain naturalisations in the context of the Cyprus Investment Scheme in the wake of revelations by Al Jazeera.

The Greens also said they will reject the budget because of reduced social and environmental expenditure.

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