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Contacts begin to resolve budget deadlock 

Sizo
Marinos Sizopoulos with Averof Neophytou (Christos Theodorides)

Contacts began Monday morning to smooth out issues related to the 2021 state budget with meetings being hosted by ruling Disy leader Averof Neophytou and others with President Nicos Anastasiades.

Last Thursday, opposition parties Akel, Diko, Edek, the Greens, the Citizens Alliance and Independent MP Anna Theologou vetoed the budget bill, all for various reasons but only Diko’s reason had nothing to do with the budget itself. Voting in favour were ruling Disy, Solidarity, the Democratic Cooperation, and Elam.

Diko said it first wanted copies of certain naturalisation files to be handed to the auditor-general. The attorney-general is running a parallel probe and does not want it jeopardised by anything the audit office might publish.

Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos was among the first to kick off contacts with Neophytou Monday morning. He said the main goal was to enrich the budget. There were priorities, he said.

Asked if Monday’s contacts were the key to deciding before Christmas Sizopoulos said that depended on the government.

“Of course, it also depends on the degree of response that we are met with,” he added. He said there was no “blackmail” or red lines “but there are priorities”. He declined to reveal them however.

“They are proposals for institutional and social change, which do not bring any cost to the budget. These are proposals that will bring revenue to the state. We do not want to jeopardise the financial viability of the budget or see it derailed,” he added.

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