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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-10-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis has described the state budget for 2011 as the tightest one during the last 30 years, noting that the ultimate goal is to achieve fiscal consolidation.

    This is a very important budget, which has as its ultimate goal the fiscal consolidation, the improvement of public finances, Stavrakis said, in statements after submitting the 2011 state budget to the President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian.

    According to Stavrakis, total expenses are estimated to increase only by 1,1% which is the lowest increase in the last 30 years, while functional state expenses will be reduced by 3%.

    Moreover he said that for the first time a bill is submitted for cutting 405 permanent positions at the public sector.

    He also said that by August this year the number of personnel at the public sector was reduced by 800, expressing optimism that by the end of the year this number will reach 1000. He added that 1000 more positions will be cut next year.

    The Minister said that to a great extent Cyprus has followed the European Commissions suggestions, namely that two thirds of the finances improvement must come from the reduction of expenses and one third from the increase of public revenues.

    The main improvement of the public finances is done through state cuts, that is to say that the two thirds of the improvement come through the reduction of expenses and only one third concerns increase of the state revenue, he explained.

    The government, he said, has done everything possible to reduce state expenditure by 400 million euro, noting that the remaining 150 million euro needed concern less than 1% of GDP.

    The Minister described last years budget as successful, saying that its goals were met, namely, to help the economy of Cyprus exit recession, which was caused due to the world economic crisis.

    For 2010 we have positive growth rates and we expect that in 2011 this recovery will speed up, he pointed out.

    Stavrakis said that the Ministry of Finance expects a positive growth rate of 1,5% in 2011 , while the IMF estimates growth rate at 1,8%.

    This is the tightest budget during the last 30 years, he stressed.

    Regarding state revenue, he said that it can increase in various ways, not only by increasing taxes.

    Replying to questions, Stavrakis said that the goal is to reduce expenses without this having any impact on the social state or on development.

    Surely, as we move ahead, you will see that additional expenses will decrease, he pointed out.

    Stavrakis said that based on the Ministrys conservative calculations, the public deficit will be reduced to 5,4%, noting that the IMF has made a similar calculation that the deficit will reach 5,6% without the measures taken.

    So, there is to a great extent an agreement with the IMF as regards the measures needed to be taken, he went on to say.

    Asked whether there are any provisions to increase VAT to 16%, he said that it would not be wise to begin a public dialogue for the measures.

    The proposed measures are measures which have been successfully implemented in the rest of Europe, he concluded.

    Meanwhile, in statements after receiving the state budget, the House President thanked the Minister noting that the Parliament will discuss the provisions of the budget with great attention as we do every year.

    He also said that this year there will be an innovation in the way the House will discuss the state budget, explaining that there will be four additional meetings which will examine in depth the revenues and expenses.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has stressed that the Greek Cypriot side proceeds to the UN led Cyprus talks to achieve a mutually acceptable solution of the political problem in Cyprus and ``give peace a real chance``.

    Addressing Sunday the International Meeting for Peace in Barcelona, organised by the Sant Egidio Community and the Archdiocese of Barcelona, President Christofias said that his ultimate goal is to give the next generations a reunified country for all its citizens, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.

    We are well aware that this is a difficult task but we have to build a peaceful future and give the next generations a reunified country for all its children, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, he said.

    President Christofias stressed that in a Europe which unites, it is unacceptable that Cyprus and its people remain divided.


    In view of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev`s official visit to Cyprus on October 6-7, and the signing of the agreement for the avoidance of double taxation between Cyprus and Russia, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the Russian Chamber of Commerce, the Cyprus-Russia Business Association and the Cyprus-Russia Friendship Association are organizing a business forum.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Medventev will address the forum, which will be held on Thursday, October 7, in Nicosia.

    Speaking here Monday, President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Manthos Mavromatis stressed the importance of the Forum which will cover issues concerning all the areas of interest for both countries, such as financial services, investments, venture capital, real estate, shipping, trade and industrial cooperation.

    More than 320 persons from Cyprus and 160 from Russia will participate at the Forum. There is no doubt that the Russian Federation is the most important economic partner of Cyprus, and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry wishes to promote this economic cooperation, Mavromatis said.

    He also stressed that the signing of the Agreement on the avoidance of Double Taxation between Cyprus and Russia, constitutes the most important development of the year, which will enhance the economic cooperation between the two countries. In addition, he pointed out that the Forum will give the opportunity to the Cypriot and Russian businessmen to develop their relations.

    Phidias Pilides, President of the Cyprus-Russian Business Association, said that the visit of the Russian President to Cyprus, from the economic point of view, constitutes the most important visit of state leader to Cyprus ever.

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