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The business community comments on the results of the European elections

The deck of cards for the composition of the European Parliament, as well as the Cypriot representation in the European Parliament, was shuffled by the 9 June elections, which, at least as far as Cyprus is concerned, provided significant upheaval and surprises, culminating in the triumphant election of independent MEP Fidias Panayiotou.

At a pan-European level, the European People's Party (EPP) emerged as the big winner of the European elections, electing 184 MEPs, but, at the same time, the extreme right was also clearly victorious, with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) securing 73 seats and the Identity and Democracy-ID Group 58 seats.

To what extent and how the new balances formed by the recent European elections can influence the policies of the EU, and by extension Cyprus, in terms of economic and business issues, is a question that has been raised on the days following the election process.

This is of even more interest given the new emerging trends in the European Parliament and in light of a possible risk of the phenomena of increasing populism that these trends might create.

Speaking to InBusinessNews, the Director General of the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (OEB) Michalis Antoniou, and the Secretary General of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) Marios Tsiakkis, provide an initial ‘reading’ of the result of the European elections and how they affect businesses, but also the wider economy.

Neither Antoniou nor Tsiakkis foresee any risks, stressing that what remains to be seen is how the correlations in the European Parliament will impact decisions at the European level.

"We are concerned about a wide range of things...”

"We are waiting to see how the dynamics of the major party formations in Europe will shape up, as well as the composition of the European Parliament, and how these will affect the distribution of the highest institutional offices of the European Union.

That is, how the formation of the new European Parliament affects the Presidency of the European Commission, the Presidency of the European Parliament and the Presidency of the European Council", said the Director General of OEB, Michalis Antoniou, speaking to InBusinessNews.

"We need to see the new map of political forces in the European Parliament to see how the decisions at the European level will be affected," Antoniou further emphasised.

Asked if he is concerned by the fact that a shift towards populism seems to have been registered, the Director General of OEB was content to say only "we are concerned about a wide range of things."

Regarding Cyprus and the developments, especially regarding the economy, Antoniou said that "we will wait to see how the results of the European elections will be reflected in the national elections that follow in two years."

"I realise, without being an expert, that voting in the European elections has a different content, character and approach than in the national elections. Therefore, I think it is good to wait until 2026 to see if (the 9 June) result is a trend that will also be reflected at the level of national elections,” he concluded.

"The MEPs have no reason to cause problems for businesses"

For his part, the Secretary General of the CCCI, Marios Tsiakkis, also speaking to InBusinessNews, said that "the results of the European elections have not bought about anuthing of concern for us regarding the economy."

"An election process took place, we have six new MEPs, of which three were re-elected," he added, noting that the Chamber will cooperate with all of them. "We consider that the MEPs are there to serve and promote the interests of Cyprus," he pointed out.

"We, I repeat, will have a good cooperation with them, we will convey to them the problems and concerns of the business world, in order for them to be aware and through their interventions and contacts to claim what we believe they should claim for our country," he underlined.

Asked about the outcome of the pan-European elections, Tsiakkis said that "the fact that the European People's Party, which is a party that supports a free economy, remains first is a positive element."

"I want to believe that there will be such alliances that will allow the European Parliament to function constructively for the benefit of all the citizens and businesses of Europe. In my opinion, MEPs have no reason to want to cause problems, either in society or in business," he stressed.

"Europe must strengthen its competitiveness against China and the USA, the other two main pillars of economic development," he underlined.

"As far as the citizens are concerned," continued the Secretary General of the CCCI, "the MEPs know that the main problems that plague them are rising costs, inflation, the cost of energy, while as far as businesses are concerned it is the lack of human resources and the education and training of employees, in order to adequately respond to the new tasks and needs that will be required by digitisation and the green transition."

"We hope that the new MEPs will put their focus on these because these are the problems that are most troubling for both citizens and businesses in Europe," concluded Tsiakkis.

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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