The European Union’s executive on Thursday approved Cyprus’ plan to spend 1.2 billion euros’ worth of special funds from the EU, aimed at restarting economic growth mauled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The aid, which Cyprus won’t have to pay back, is part of the EU’s unprecedented economic stimulus totaling €800 billion to be distributed among the 27 member-states.
“It is ambitious, it is farsighted and will spur the growth that is necessary for a better future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, speaking in Nicosia.
Cyprus plans to use 41% of the total allocated funds to support climate objectives, including green taxation, the liberalization of the electricity market and facilitating energy renovations in buildings, the Commission said.
The plan also includes measures to promote digitalization of public services, to support early childhood education and to reduce risks in the banking sector related to legacy non-performing loans.
Cypriot authorities expect implementation of the plan will increase national output by 3.2% in the immediate 2022-23 period, and by 7.1% in the longer term until 2026, creating 11,000 new jobs. [Reuters]