EU to explore ‘frontloading’ structural payments to Cyprus

The European Commission will propose “frontloading” payments to Cyprus from the EU budget so that allocations for the next seven years are paid early to give the battered economy a boost, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

In a letter to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Barroso said the Commission would also offer Nicosia higher pre-financing rates and explore the possibility of increasing the size of the funds already agreed for Cyprus in the EU’s 2014-2020 budget.

“With a view to delivering an impact on the ground as soon as possible I would propose to explore with the budgetary authority the possibility of frontloading future (EU budget) assistance for Cyprus,” Barroso said in the letter.

Cyprus is to get 945 million euros over the next seven years as EU co-financing for various projects and as direct payments to farmers and for the development of rural areas.

“I do not exclude seeking additional support from the budgetary authority, despite all the well-known difficulties currently associated with these matters at EU level,” Barroso said. [Reuters]

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