Cyprus is the first country in the eurozone to announce that it plans to make use of the cheap, long-term credit lines that will be made available by the Pandemic Crisis Support fund of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros quoted Cypriot Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides as telling online talk show Science Hoaxes that “of course [we] will utilise the European Stability Mechanism for health expenditures.”
The minister explained that the government will first have to calculate the health expenses that have already been paid or will be paid later, such as the funds for the new intensive care unit of the Nicosia General Hospital and the tests to diagnose coronavirus.
Cyprus has conducted more than 90,000 coronavirus tests, one of the largest per capita numbers in the world. Much of the cost of these tests has been paid for by the state.
“The purpose is to calculate [expenses] and borrow cheap liquidity from the ESM,” Petrides was quoted as saying.