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Next Ministry of Finance of Greece and Cyprus: Support with fiscal stability HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS • Ministry of Finance of Greece and Cyprus: Support with fiscal stability
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The task of supporting economic growth while supporting entrepreneurship and vulnerable groups in the new crisis of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while maintaining fiscal stability, has been the focus of discussion at the first Famagusta Business Forum. with the participation of the Ministers of Finance of Greece and Cyprus and representatives of the chambers of the two countries.
Both Christos Staikouras and Konstantinos Petridis acknowledged that the new crisis is driven by energy and is characterized from high inflation.
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Speaking online at the conference, Mr. Staikouras described the current situation as “interesting moments”, stressing that Greece and Cyprus faced complex and multi-level crises, saying that “the results of both countries are at least satisfactory”. “We have managed to keep society upright and society alive,” he said.
“Now we have a new crisis ahead of us, we have a new crisis, an energy crisis, an inflation crisis, which shakes but does not substantially differentiate the basic characteristics of the Greek economy, proving that we have built and are building strong pillars,” he noted.
To address the challenges of inflation, Mr. Staikouras said the Greek government is trying to take additional initiatives to support entrepreneurship and households from rising energy costs.
He also stressed that the Greek government has set specific goals that include the return of the Greek economy to the investment level in 2023 and the exit from the enhanced supervision regime in the summer. He also said that there should be gradual and safe fiscal stability and that is why “we have built a safe and realistic path” by returning to “realistic primary surpluses”.
The Minister of Finance of Cyprus & nbsp; also referred to the exit of the two countries from the successive crises, first & nbsp; the financial crisis of the two countries and then the pandemic of & nbsp; Covid-19.
Now we have the third crisis, which, as Konstantinos Petridis pointed out, is & nbsp; “completely different from the previous ones”.
“It is an inflation crisis that will not pass easily and the economy is predicted to be the hot potato in the hands of any government,” he said. but also because of European policies of green development and the very optimistic goals for detoxification (from fossil fuels) which will not be without cost “.
Recalling that Cyprus faced the economic crisis of 2013, Mr. Petridis concluded by saying that “in the economy there is no room for vague and vague visions, but clear thoughts, opinions, courage, experience even if we do not caress the ears”.
In his own speech, the President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Christodoulos Agastiniotis, likened the successive crises to a “mountain hydra”, saying that it is difficult for countries like Greece and Cyprus to avoid external crises, as they rely on services and in tourism.
“The big question is to have strong economies to be able to deal immediately with adverse developments and the flexibility to respond immediately to external challenges,” he said.
Referring to the high inflation that affects the two countries and the world in general after the crisis in Ukraine, Mr. Agastiniotis expressed concern that the gallop of inflation, as he said, will not end even after the increase of interest rates by the European Central Bank .
Answering questions, Mr. Agastiniotis spoke out against the horizontal measures of support for households and suggested a more targeted support to the vulnerable. Concluding, he said that both countries “have the guts” to face the new crisis that is facing them.
For his part, Giannis Bratakos, President, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, pointed out that ” “We have a strong wave of price increases” that reduces corporate income and has an impact on households, adding that the recovery dynamics in the Greek economy has been significantly reduced and the pressures on businesses and households are very high.
“Under these circumstances, state interventions are imperative. “The measures announced by the Greek government are a significant relief, but such measures must remain as long as the unprecedented crisis remains,” he said, adding, however, that & nbsp; Greece has to deal with the crisis with significant limitations, perhaps the largest in Europe./p>
“The great challenge,” he concluded, “is this new external crisis not to divert the stabilization and recovery effort that has been achieved in the past. “Any measure must be within the framework of the fiscal balance.”
Besides, Vassilios Korkidis, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Piraeus stressed that we are facing a “inflation storm”.
“It is not easy to deal with because we live in uncertainty and we do not know how long there will be de-escalation,” he added. He said the cost of energy, which had risen before and had accelerated significantly since the Ukraine crisis, was not easy to absorb, as “we are looking for the next king, which is oil at the moment”, he said.
Concluding, he stressed that Greece and & nbsp; Cyprus can become & nbsp; energy hubs in Europe, with the answer being in renewable energy sources (RES).
Cyprus is one of the most active countries meters & nbsp;
“Cyprus is one of the countries that has taken the most drastic measures due to rising prices,” said Finance Minister Konstantinos Petridis, but expressed concern about the possibility of keeping prices high and described the crisis as very different from the pandemic./p>
In statements after the Business Forum, the Minister noted that we are entering a new economic era and stressed the need for the public to maintain some resilience due to the uncertainty that exists.
< b> We are one of the countries that took the most drastic measures Asked to comment on the increases in the whole range of products, the Minister said that several measures have been taken, but stressed that “unfortunately we can not kill inflation” & nbsp; which is a pan-European phenomenon due to several reasons including war but not only.
He said that so far there has been support with & nbsp; over 160 million euros & nbsp; through several programs, such as & nbsp; reduction of VAT, reduction of VAT from 19% to 10% horizontally and from 19% to 5% for the most vulnerable, there was an increase in the allowance for mountain areas due to the accuracy of the oil by 50% and emergency support was given to breeders due to the grain situation. & nbsp;
He stressed that Cyprus is one of the two countries that also maintains the ATA institution which compensates for about 50% inflation.
“If we put all this down we are among the countries that have taken the most drastic measures,” the minister said, but expressed concern about the possibility of keeping prices high.
He said we were entering a new economic era and noted that & nbsp; It is very important for the public to maintain some resilience due to the uncertainty that exists.
Asked if there is a case for asking for help from the EU, he answered “there is no help from the EU”. p>
This crisis is different from the pandemic crisis
Asked to comment on a letter from the CCCI to the President of the Republic, requesting the extension of the state guarantee plan and the suspension of installments, the Minister said that there is no issue of suspension of installments at European level, “they are over, I think the CCCI knows it”.
“We will look at their letters but this crisis is very different from the crisis of the pandemic that fiscal policy has kept businesses, so we have not seen business bankruptcy, we have not seen unemployment,” he added./p>
He said the government would be very careful about support, saying that those most affected by inflation were the vulnerable groups, “so we should also look at the social meaning of politics.” .
There are, he said, hundreds of millions of euros in the budget that help businesses, and especially in terms of their fossil fuels with energy upgrade plans, with photovoltaics in a series of measures. & Nbsp;
“Businesses need to take these steps so that as soon as possible these savings required by energy dependence occur “, he continued.
in the business forum, described it as very important, saying that & nbsp; demonstrates the strengthening of ties between not only the two chambers but also the two countries.
Two countries, he said, which in recent years in times of crisis have shown their resilience.
“We denied the predictions because we love business and because we favor business, and in this context, the business ties between the two countries are now strengthening. “Because in the new context of the green transition that we are going through, there are many possibilities for cooperation between the private sector, companies and it is those who cultivate these forums with Greece, there are many prospects”, & nbsp; he concluded.