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Ministers to meet over plan to mitigate cost of living rises

ukraine wheat

President Nicos Anastasiades has convened a meeting of ministers for Friday to explore ways of providing relief to people amid the rising cost of living.

Announcing the meeting on Monday, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said it would take place at 11am at the presidential palace. Its purpose will be to “examine measures to mitigate and/or tackle the consequences of the new international crisis”.

The spokesman said the government is taking on board “the concerns and suggestions of parties and social partners about the phenomena we are observing as a result of the global financial crisis that is due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the anticipated and associated consequences of the sanctions against Russia.”

The written statement added that “this is a new global economic crisis which all states must deal with” and that “once again Cyprus is taking the brunt of the fallout which, to the extent that the Cyprus is able to, it will tackle.”

The government has already taken steps to alleviate economic pressures on people, “and will continue doing so”.

The island is experiencing ongoing inflationary pressures, primarily on fuel and electricity. According to recent data published by Eurostat, already in the second half of 2021 Cyprus recorded the third highest increase in the EU in domestic electricity bills – 36 per cent.

And the EU’s Spring Forecast, released on Monday, forecast higher joblessness and further inflation in 2022, also expected to impact the recovering tourism sector.

Meantime the finance ministry has already asked parliament to green-light an additional €102 million in government spending to deal with the continuing economic impact of the Covid situation and the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

The supplementary budget bill is expected to be passed sometime over the next two weeks.

Of the €102 million, €71.5 million relates to the Covid situation, while €30 million is earmarked for needs arising from the conflict in Ukraine. The latter includes €18 million for the purchase, storage and management of wheat and corn reserves; €5 million for hospitality and support to Ukrainian refugees; €7.6 million in financial assistance to farmers, necessary due to soaring prices of animal feed.

 

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