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Petrides: we must all look at the big picture

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides

Cypriots need to be in one accord and make the structural reforms needed by the country to set robust foundations for the future, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Wednesday.

“We must all look at the big picture and proceed for the good of the country together during these difficult times,” Petrides said.

The minister paid a visit to SEK trade union where he had talks with its chief, Andreas Matsas.

Petrides said the meeting did not only delve into union issues but also the “broader economic policy framework and what we must do and expect in the future.”

“We discussed matters concerning the counterattack, which we expect to launch in the second half (of the year),” the minister said, in relation to the EU recovery fund.

He said he was discussing with trade unions how to use the fund to turn the page and build a sustainable economy.

“The day after is not only a matter of projects but also of structural reforms that will set the day after on solid pillars,” the minister said.

One such issue were pensions, whose reform will secure public finances, workers’ income after retirement “and our children, who should not pay for our pensions.”

Petrides expressed hope that the dialogue the government had undertaken would have a positive outcome as regards vital reforms.

Matsas said they reviewed the problems and prospects of the economy and concluded that it would withstand the crisis and move on to the next level of recovery and growth.

The SEK leader also stressed the need for the state to resolve the problem of tax evasion and the prompt payment of VAT by companies.

Matsas said he also raised the issue of criminalising the failure to pay income tax in a bid to boost public finances.

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