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Finance Minister says measures to tackle high electricity prices top priority

Measures to address high electricity prices are a priority for the government, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos, has said, noting that efforts had been underway over the weekend so these measures could be announced promptly.

Speaking on the sidelines of a park opening in Lakatamia Municipality on 17 February, the Minister stressed the government's determination to support vulnerable groups and the middle class. He added that a series of measures would be presented before the Cabinet, some of which may already be known, while others may be new.

"We are working on these measures, and this weekend we will focus on them to be ready in time, ensuring necessary assistance for the people is not delayed," he said.

Responding to questions about whether the reduction in fuel excise tax would continue, he noted that the measures implemented by the government in the previous period, along with other economic policy measures, worked towards curbing inflation.

"Simultaneously, they assisted the middle class and vulnerable groups in facing distortions stemming from electricity prices and inflationary pressures. And this is what we will continue to do," he said.

Keravnos stressed that the main issue was the high electricity prices. "This is our priority, this is what we will tackle first, while we continue to monitor and develop proposals for the remaining issues," he said.

Asked whether the measures would be targeted, he stated that efforts are towards targeted measures for greater effectiveness, within the framework of fiscal discipline and in accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, which monitor and evaluate the Cypriot economy.

Asked about concerns regarding Cyprus' economy in 2024, taking into account international developments, the Minister said that there were no concerns about Cyprus' economic trajectory. He referred to recent data, highlighting Cyprus' economy as one of the best-performing in the EU, following Malta.

"However, this does not deter us from working proactively, analysing and observing challenges around us, and taking timely action to ensure our economy continues on the right path," he said.

He stressed Cyprus Republic’s need to pay attention to its sovereign status and economy, describing them as the country's "strong foundations" requiring careful monitoring and preservation.

(Source: CNA)

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