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Pilides: Cyprus Seeks To Obtain Increased EU Funds For Businesses And Clean Energy

Pilides: Cyprus Seeks To Obtain Increased EU Funds For Businesses And Clean Energy

The significant increase funds obtained from EU funds both to support entrepreneurship and to promote alternative energy sources in Cyprus, is the focus of the Energy, Commerce and Industry Ministry’s budget for 2021, which was presented before the parliamentary committee on financial and budgetary affairs, on Thursday.


Addressing MPs Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said that the budget includes projects for 2020, the implementation of which was delayed due to the pandemic, while grant schemes from structural and investment funds as well as the recovery fund will be launched in support of entrepreneurship.


The budget’s strategic goals include making the most of hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus, ensuring the country’s energy supply and its transition to a green ecosystem, improving competitiveness and promoting economic growth, improving services offered by the Companies Registrar and the Insolvency Department and enhancing the effectiveness of the Ministry’s services.


Pilides said total budgeted expenditure for 2021 reaches €91.1 million down in relation to 2020 by €10.9 million, mainly due to a reduction of the amount projected for natural gas infrastructure projects. In particular, the 2020 budget included the expenditure of €40 million while the budget of 2021 includes the projected expenditure of €26 million.


Regular budget expenditure for the Ministry in 2021 is €41.6 million. Pilides said there is an increase of €5 million which is due mainly to an increase of the payroll, including hiring of staff for the newly established Insolvency Department.


Development expenditure foreseen for 2021 reaches €49.5 million, reduced by €16 million due to the reduction in natural gas expenditure. They include the promotion of exports (€2 million), industrial parks (€17.9 million), industrial zones (€1.1. million), technological upgrade (€1 million), natural gas infrastructure (€25 million) and training (€3.4 million).

On a difference between Cyprus and Israel about the “Aphrodite” natural gas reserve she said that the Ministry has recently submitted a new and improved proposal to Israel. Referring to the supply of liquefied natural gas in Cyprus, she said the goal is to complete the projects in 2022.


On the subject matter of halloumi cheese, Pilides said the effort is to monitor as best as possible the manufacture of halloumi in Cyprus so that all other similar products sold abroad can be classified differently and continue to be exported. She also expressed concern over the many court cases pending abroad by Cypriot or other producers who want to trade in halloumi and seek to harm the trademark.


Source: CNA


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