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President: Higher rates of growth

26/05/2016 13:40
President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said that through reforms, incentives and a responsible policy, the restart and recovery of the Cypriot economy will continue with even higher rates.

Speaking on Wednesday evening at the 28th Pancyprian Conference of the Cyprus Workers` Confederation (SEK), the President thanked the trade union, saying it cooperated with responsibility during dire economic times so that Cyprus turns the economic crisis into an opportunity.

He assured the delegates at the Conference that through reforms, incentives and a responsible economic policy, the recovery and the restart of the Cypriot economy will continue with an even higher rate.

The President pledged that the `unjust` special defence contribution that was imposed on employees due to the economic crisis will be terminated by the end of the year, thus returning to the employees about 80 million euro, which in turn will benefit the economy.

Despite the economic crisis, he said, the government managed to maintain the minimum wage at 870 euro.

Referring to unemployment, he said that there is a gradual reduction of the unemployment rate in Cyprus. The first quarter of 2016 it dropped to 12,1% from 16,2% thus recording one of the highest reductions in Europe.

Noting that an unemployment rate of 12% is not low, he said that the effort must continue through responsible policies so that the number of unemployed further drops `until we reach the levels when we had full employment`.

In addition, he said that growth rate stood at 1,6% last year and while the first quarter of 2016 it reached 2,7%.

It is through these policies, he concluded, that Cyprus achieved to exit in March the bailout deal with its international lenders.