President Nicos Anastasiades welcomed the approval of the 2021 state budget by parliament, urging all parties to leave the toxic climate behind and focus on  its implementation.

“The government’s will to effectively address the effects of the pandemic is reflected by the expenditure to strengthen the health sector, support  the income of vulnerable groups and workers, and special support programs for thousands of companies, organised groups and organisations that amounted to €1.6bn in 2020,” he said in a televised address.

The same political will is recorded in the 2021 budget, with expenditure up €930m so that development needs are not overlooked, the president stressed.

The budget, he said, has five major strategic pillars: first, continuation of the emergency measures to support employees and businesses affected by the pandemic; strengthen the welfare state; lay the foundations for recovery but also for sustainable and dynamic growth; boost Cyprus’ defence capabilities; and carry out the necessary reforms in local government, the reform of the judiciary and courts, the strengthenning of the institutional framework for accountability, transparency and the fight against corruption, the promotion of the green tax reform, the reform in Education and the strengthening of meritocracy.