ECONOMY

Cyprus says strong euro will hurt smaller states

Cypriot Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis, seen here (r) with his Greek counterpart Giorgos Papaconstantinou, suggested yesterday that the strong euro will hurt smaller European economies and called on fellow European Union members to work harder to stimulate growth. Speaking after a meeting with his Slovenian counterpart, Franc Krizanic, in Nicosia, Stavrakis told reporters that ‘the level of the euro, the recent appreciation… is hindering our exports and competitive position.’ He went on to say that he and Krizanic agreed ‘that major European countries, such as Germany, need to increase their deficits. They can do this because their deficits are very low, so they can revive the European economy through an expansive fiscal policy. This would benefit all small, open economies, such as Slovenia and Cyprus.’ Krizanic added that level of the euro in the second quarter of the year had helped the eurozone recover. ‘We hope that the level achieved in May and June stays stable. It is a level around 1.20 [dollars per euro].’