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Cyprus seeks (EURO)500 million boost to state coffers

Cyprus seeks (EURO)500 million boost to state coffers

Cyprus' finance minister said Tuesday that he's seeking a (EURO)500 million ($722 million) injection into state coffers to stave off a burgeoning deficit projected to hover at around 6 percent of GDP over the next two years.
Charilaos Stavrakis outlined a number of proposed measures designed to offset a (EURO)1.43 billion revenue drop in 2009 _ equal to 8.4 percent of GDP _ mainly due to reduced income from property development and tourism.
Chief among the measures is tackling a bloated public sector whose (EURO)2.24 billion ($3.23 billion) payroll represents around a third of the state budget.
Stavrakis set a target of shaving 1,000 government jobs within the next three years. He said he would seek to curb pay raises and slash state contributions to the government workers' pension fund from 35 to 20 percent _ an annual savings of (EURO)150 million ($217 million).
A crackdown on tax evasion combined with a reappraisal of property taxes based on current rather than 1980 market values is expected to bring in an additional (EURO)200 million ($289 million), Stavrakis said.
He said the reappraisal wouldn't break a government no-new-tax pledge, but instead would target those with "huge property holdings".
Stavrakis also said he would shave 10 percent off a (EURO)1 billion social spending package.
The minister announced the measures at the outset of talks with trade union leaders meant to win their approval. The meeting includes representatives of the powerful government workers' PASYDY union.


Updated : 2021-08-05 10:30 GMT+08:00