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Coronavirus: Party support vital to tap recovery funds says minister

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Wednesday called for political parties to support necessary reforms so that Cyprus can fully utilise the €1.2 billion from the national recovery and resilience plan.
Petrides presented the recovery and sustainability scheme, a document of over 1,000 pages, on drawing these funds for a way out of the coronavirus crisis by strengthening the resilience of the economy through a series of actions, investments and reforms.

The reforms are a condition for the disbursement of funds from the EU recovery plan (Next Generation EU) amounting in total to €750 billion.

The Cypriot scheme provides for a total of €1.2 bn – €1bn in sponsorships and €0.2 bn in loans – with the technocrats of the finance ministry estimating that they will mobilise an additional €1.4bn in private funds, while investments and reforms will lead to an increase of the GDP by 7 per cent in the period 2022 to 2026.

The plan includes:
€40 million will go to SMEs and councils and communities
€20.5 million for energy efficiency for homes and renewables
€78.4 million for improvement business competitiveness
€96 million for improvement of justice system, fighting corruption, and local government
€44.5 million for the management of crises at financial institutions
€94 million for education and improvement of skills learning
€78.9 million for job market integration and employment

“This is not the government’s bet, this is not the finance ministry’s bet, it is Cyprus’ bet, can we win it?” Petrides asked. “This is not from the Cypriot finance ministry, and this is not related to elections: This is straight from the European Commission,” the minister insisted.

The scheme presented by Petrides is part of the recovery and resilience plan presented by the government this week, aspiring to utilise €4.4bn in EU funds, private and public-private investment to make Cyprus a country with high levels of resilience, productivity, and competitiveness through a viable model of long-term development.

The plan was dubbed, Cyprus Tomorrow, and was presented as a the roadmap for the post Covid era.

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