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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-12-07

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Spokesman: Economic measures will secure 923 million euros
  • [02] President meets experts on hydrocarbons

  • [01] Spokesman: Economic measures will secure 923 million euros

    A total of 923 million euros will be secured on behalf of the state by increasing revenue and reducing expenditure for the period 2011-2014, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said, noting at the same time that the total fiscal size of all the financial measures that have been proposed and approved is based on a expense : revenue ratio of 3:1.

    Stephanou was speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting, chaired by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, to discuss the bills for the budget measures decided at the meeting held last Friday at the Presidential Palace between President Christofias and political party leaders.

    The measures concern, among others, the contribution of employees of the broad public sector by freezing salaries for two years, the extraordinary contribution of private sector employees based on the scales and rates which apply to civil servants, also for two years.

    The extraordinary contribution of civil servants with a monthly income of up to 2.5 thousand euros is being terminated.

    They also relate to the increase of the tax rate on profits from 17% to 20%, the revision of taxation on immovable property and integrating all relevant taxes.

    The measures also provide for the ratification of a bill concerning the increase of the standard VAT rate from 15% to 17% with the beginning of the social dialogue for a more just redistribution of COLA with an aim to conclude the dialogue within six months.

    They also provide for saving 200 million euros through targeting social benefits and for taking measures to combat tax evasion through the adoption of legislations.

    The measures provide for the review of various allowances granted to the public service, as well as taking measures to support growth.

    These measures include the strengthening of small and medium sized enterprises, tax incentives for investing profits in development projects and speeding up priority projects in the private sector.

    Stephanou said that most of these measures have been transformed into bills and will be tabled at the House of Representatives for approval.

    Replying to a question, Stephanou said that there is a plan for the next four years, specifically 2011-2014, with specific financial goals.

    Particularly, he said that the fiscal deficit for 2011 is expected to reach around 6%, adding that the goal for 2012 is for the fiscal deficit to reach 2.5%, 0.5% in 2013 and zero in 2014.

    In regard to public debt, the Spokesman said that the goal is to reach 65% in 2011, 66% in 2012, 65.5% in 2013 and 64.5% in 2014.

    Asked how much revenue these measures would bring into the state funds, he said that, based on estimates, the total fiscal size of all financial measures proposed or adopted is an expense : revenue ratio of 3:1 and not just 2:1, which was the commitment of the Government.

    For example, he continued, ``in 2012 the revenue side will be increased by 249 million euros and the expenditure side will be reduced by 461 million euros, resulting in a total benefit of 710 million euros.``

    Overall, he noted, ``from 2011 until 2014, on the revenue side we will have an increase of 264 euros and a decrease on the spending side of 659 million euros, a total of 923 million euros."

    Asked if these measures would manage to keep Cyprus out of the support mechanism, Stephanou said that for a country to resort to the support mechanism it must be unable to meet its financing needs.

    Cyprus is not facing such a problem, especially after securing a loan of 2.5 billion euros from Russia, he concluded.

    [02] President meets experts on hydrocarbons

    The Government works hard and in an organised manner regarding the second licensing round for natural gas and oil exploration and exploitation within Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has underlined.

    In statements to the Press, after the first meeting held on Wednesday between the President of the Republic and the Advisory Group of Experts on hydrocarbons, Stephanou said that the meeting gave the opportunity for discussion and exchange of views.

    Regarding the second licensing round, Government Spokesman said that the procedure has been launched as envisaged in the relevant Law. At present stage, documents are being prepared and announcements will be made according to the development of the procedure, he pointed out.

    Asked if there are any results from the exploration drilling currently underway in Cyprus block 12, Stephanou said that according to the Commerce Minister, announcements will be made soon.


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