Government officials touted what they called the “historic importance” of the ‘Cyprus Tomorrow’ plan at an event held at the Nicosia Mall on Saturday.
The ‘Cyprus Tomorrow’ plan is also known as the Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) and EU-driven blueprint with country-specific actions with the main focus on the green and digital transitions. The plan assigns €1m to a communications strategy to sell it to the public.
Speaking at the event, Government Spokesman Marios Pelekanos said that it was a plan of historical significance for the country.
“A plan that was created by Cypriots for Cypriots, which is the legacy, bequest of the Anastasiades’ government, a plan that will help and contribute to the evolution of our country into a digital, green state,” he said.
He said implementation began in 2021 and would be completed in 2026. Within this period a total of 130 investments and reforms would be implemented that concern all sectors of governance, whether they are health, sports, digital, green, education, or employment.
“An amount of €4.4 billion euros consisting of European funds, but also of private investments will flow into our economy during this period with many benefits for each individual Cypriot, regardless of which category or group of the population they belong to,” he said.
According to Pelekanos, the first instalment and down payment have already been disbursed, because Cyprus has met its targets, and will need to continue to meet its targets set by the EU.
For this, he said the executive and lawmakers will need to cooperate to meet the deadlines set and for funding to be unlocked.
“I am certain that all the parties and the new government will fall in line on this issue, so that we can absorb even the last cent that belongs to us from these European funds,” he concluded. The EU is providing just under €1 billion.
The bulk – more than 60 per cent will go to green and digital projects with some 7 per cent each for health, social welfare and education.
Also speaking at the event, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said that the plan would improve the daily lives of people and the state’s infrastructure for generations to come.
Regarding the health sector, he said that €74.1 million would be allocated for the creation of the new Makarios Hospital, dialysis units throughout Cyprus and digital health plans that would be implemented by December 2024 for all.
“It is up to us to implement these projects so that the next generations can enjoy this infrastructure,” he said.
In statements made at the event, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said the plan was about recovering from the successive crises Cyprus has gone through, which should be done in a sustainable way and in a way that satisfies the needs the current generation, but also thinks about the needs of the next ones. The RRP refers to ‘Building Back Better’.
According to Kadis, the plan requires the state to operate in an environmentally friendly way with issues such as proper waste management and recycling water, the modernisation of agriculture, blue growth and aquaculture to be included in projects of the plan, while in total the ministry must implement 19 projects, of which four are reforms and the others are either investment plans or investments in important development projects.
He added that since Cyprus is in environmentally vulnerable area, the EU set more than 37 per cent of the budget of the plan to be allocated for activities to deal with climate change.
“We have surpassed this amount, with 43 per cent of the budget being allocated to projects dealing with this,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Anastasia Anthousi, said ‘Cyprus Tomorrow’ was a plan that the Anastasiades government was leaving as a legacy for the next generation. The RRP however is a plan fomented in Brussels and whatever government is in power will be required to implement it or lose funding.