Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides was on Friday morning due to brief leaders of political parties in Cyprus on the revised state budget for 2021 at a meeting under President Nicos Anastasiades and in the presence of the House Speaker, Adamos Adamos.
The meeting takes place just before the meeting of the Cabinet that will decide on new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Cyprus.
Petrides will present to party leaders the revised budget. He is also expected to refer to plans to unveil support measures for businesses and employees in light of the new restrictions.
Citing sources, the Cyprus News Agency said that after the meetings at the Presidential Palace last Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour have examined adjustments to the plans to support the real economy.
Ministry of Finance’s plans concern the coverage of operating expenses of companies, while those of the Ministry of Labor concern the coverage of salary costs.
The 2021 budget was rejected on December 17 by 29 votes against to 24 in favour, the first time this has happened since independence in 1960, primarily because junior opposition Diko – who in previous years had voted in favour – broke ranks and vetoed. Also voting against were Akel, Edek, the Greens, Citizens’ Alliance and independent MP Anna Theologou.
Diko said their action was due to the fact the government refuses to hand over to the auditor-general files concerning the now-defunct citizenship by investment scheme.
Scrambling into action, the government launched a round of consultations with opposition parties in a bid to win enough consensus to tip the balance and has promised to consider proposed amendments.
Where the budget bill does not pass, the government has 45 days from the day of the vote in parliament to submit an amended bill.