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Cyprus

North university ‘in millions of debt’

feature tom2 unis in north the eastern mediterreanean university near famagusta
The Eastern Mediterreanean University

Famagusta’s Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) currently has a tax debt of 3.2 billion TL (€92.8m), the north’s ‘finance minister’ Ozdemir Berova said on Monday.

He was speaking during a debate in ‘parliament’ regarding the allocation of additional funds to the university, which was proposed, and adopted, to cover over 1 billion TL (€29m) worth of severance payments for former university employees.

He insisted that the ‘government’ had acted correctly to allocated the extra funds, saying “if the government and the state did not take responsibility and make sacrifices, the EMU would have not had the financial means to do anything at all.”

He added that his ‘government’ has made efforts to “bring the EMU to a financially stable point”, including various rounds of negotiations over the summer of 2023.

“University employees sacrificed their salaries, but if employees made one sacrifice, public finances made 99 sacrifices,”

Opposition party CTP ‘MP’ asked “with what source of income will this debt be paid?”, and added that the university’s finances are being run “like a corner shop”.

He added that “while it may yield positive results, it may drag the EMU into a new crisis in October.”

Berova replied that Barcin’s “corner shop” comment was “provocative”.

Meanwhile, CTP ‘MP’ Erkut Sahali accused the ‘government’ of being “responsible” for the EMU’s dire financial straits and said that attempts now to bail the university out are “attempts to escape from the story of collapse”.

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