Coronavirus Cyprus: Financial stimulus package to bring relief to economy
Finance Minister of Cyprus, Constantinos Petrides, said on Wednesday that a financial stimulus package is on its way to help businesses tackle the economic damage caused by the coronavirus, which had a big and negative impact on Cyprus’s tourism and travel sector.
According to the Minister, the package will aim to support businesses and entrepreneurship as well as employees through subsidies. It will also involve tax-breaks and grants through different ministries.
Petrides further said that the package of stimulus measures would be finalised with input from the political parties and other players in the economy, but the exact budget amount remains unknown. He plans to consult with political parties as soon as possible and submit the stimulus package for approval to the House, in order to ease the pressure on the economy over the next two or three months.
The Minister noted that Cyprus has been through worse in the past. “I am convinced that we will succeed… as I have said.. we have had more difficult times.”
He also informed of the Eurogroup meeting next week to make key decisions regarding the ‘Corona Fund’ to support business liquidity.
“But I reiterate that regardless of any European measures, the government will support the economy, support the workers, and support the businesses with concrete and practical measures to be announced in the coming days,” he added.
In regards to the efforts to tackle this coronavirus fallout, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said that among the topics discussed were ways to deal with the closure or temporary closure of businesses, employee sick leave, parental leave in cases where schools could be closed for a longer time, but especially the hotel industry.
Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios recently said that: “Tourism is among the top priorities for government given its contribution to the economy and global travel was the first and hardest hit in the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. Cyprus is expecting one of the worst years for tourism in probably two decades. The aim now is to limit the decline.”
Petrides emphasized that the issue was not just tourism but the wider economy, however he cannot deny the fact that the tourism sector, which is vulnerable to external parameters, has a significant contribution to the island’s GDP.