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Trade union Sek has released a press statement saying that it has been asking for a ‘prudent and comprehensive’ tax reform that will be shaped by dialogue and consultation and that will avoid financially burdening the state.

The press release was published as a response to parliament discussing the implementation of green taxes to curtail pollution and protect the environment.

“Considering that the previous comprehensive general tax reform took place in 2002, Cyprus needs a new green tax reform that will shift the tax burden from businesses to pollution and correct any injustices created at the expense of citizens’ incomes from unbearable taxes, imposed at light speed and mostly during the financial crisis,” the union said.

The union added that, within the framework of total tax reform, VAT should be gradually decreased, saying that it unexpectedly increased from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and then to 19 per cent.

“The possibility of reintroducing tax deductions should be considered, as well as bearing in mind loans and not just deposits in child allowance and student funding applications,” the union added.

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry has signed an agreement to use new software for the issuing of export licenses.

The software is called Stratlink and has been developed by Esthonian company Spin TEK AS. The company will also supply a warranty for the software.

The contract was signed by ministry commerce manager Panayiota Patsali and Spin TEK board member Mari Uusmaa.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Nicosia Yaryna Ferencevych was also present during the contract signing.

According to a ministry press release, the Stratlink program has been customised to meet Cyprus’ requirements and will facilitate the issuing of export licenses in a faster, more efficient way, eliminating bureaucracy in the process.

The use of the new software will simplify and add transparency to the export licensing process for both applying merchants and government officials.

The use of this piece of software is expected to also combat corruption and illicit trade of weapons and other illegal services.

“It will thus contribute to the strengthening of the Republic of Cyprus’s national security and at the same time facilitate improved legal trade through better control of applications,” the ministry said.

The US embassy and the US foreign ministry’s Export Control Border Security (EXBS) supported and facilitated the software acquisition process.

That Cypriot banks can rise to the current challenges and contribute to the further development of the economy was the key message during Financial Media Way’s second online conference titled ‘Banks – A New Era’.

“There has been a great deal of improvement in terms of non-performing loans, although to ensure sustainable and long-term development this aspect needs to be monitored continuously and be aligned with justice system reform,” Senior Economic Officer at the Ministry of Finance Avgi Lapathiotis said during the event.

“The banking system is a core pillar for development so it must remain healthy,” Lapathiotis added.

Financial Commissioner Pavlos Ioannou said that solutions for strategic investors must be found. Referencing the tools available to decrease non-performing loans, Ioannou said that banks must align with the new state of things to improve their profitability.

Bank of Cyprus’ Nicosia Regional Manager Stella Mourouzidou – Damtsa said that the banks are willing to support every viable proposal as long as the repayment plan is feasible and that they follow central bank regulations.

Finally, Eurobank Cyprus’ Manager of Wealth Management Marios Hadjikyriacos said that the period of low interest rates will continue for a few more years since the European and global economies still need time to recover.

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry and the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) signed this week a Memorandum of Cooperation. The Memorandum was signed by Natasa Pilides, Minister of Energy and Zacharias Siokouros, CEO of CMMI.

According to a press release on Thursday, the cooperation agreement allows the Ministry and the Institute to take joint action in areas of mutual interest with the aim of promoting the New Industrial Policy 2019-2030, which aims at the strategic interconnection of traditional industry with other sectors of the economy and the creation of a modern model of development.

The two parties will work together to improve the infrastructure of the industrial ecosystem by introducing innovative digital applications, connecting alternative energy sources and creating well-trained and lifelong trained human resources.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Thursday, September 23, with losses.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 65.81 points by 13:33 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.68 per cent over the previous day.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 39.31 points, representing losses of 0.71 per cent. The total value of transactions came up to €11,974.

In terms of sub-indexes, the hotel and investment firms indexes remained stable, while the main index fell by 1.14 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by Vassiliko Cement Works (€1,309 worth of trades, no change to stock price), Hellenic Bank (-1.43 per cent), Bank of Cyprus Holdings (-0.98 per cent), Pandora Insurance (+3.19 per cent) and Atlantic Insurance (+1.94 per cent)

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