Onoufrios Koullas: About the economy… will we succeed?

Famagusta MP Onoufrios Koullas' article on the economy

Project without title 2021 05 22T122931.541 Parliamentary Article, Parliamentary Elections 2021, Onoufrios Koullas

* By Onoufrios Koullas

The strict restrictive measures for the 2 weeks of Easter paid off. From Monday, May 10, there was a big leap in the economy and a big step towards a more normal life. A course has already been specified that after 1η In June things will be even better. We all want to hope that from now on there will be no turning back. How will we manage to eliminate almost all restrictions within the summer. This will be the big bet for this year.

Our economy has endured. Despite the multiple and serious problems created by the pandemic, the main pillars of the economy, namely the state, businesses and households, remain alive. Wounded but alive. From now on we must hope for a speedy healing of the wounds.

The role of the state all these months has been crucial. With the many measures that have been taken and are still being taken, at various levels, mainly with the support of employees and companies, consumption has been restrained and the market has not stopped functioning. In passing, it should be noted that the excellent budgetary work done from 2013 to 2019 allowed the state to support the market for more than 15 months. It's what we are optimistic about today.

Without a doubt there are serious problems. But at the same time the objective data make us optimistic that we will succeed. The next few months will be crucial. It is extremely necessary to save this tourist year. Tourism is the sector most affected by the pandemic. A second lost year will create insurmountable problems for the entire economy. That is why support plans are being run and agreements are being made with airlines and tour operators to support this important sector for our economy.

Many other steps taken will help later. For example, the legal commitment of employers, through the plans of the Ministry of Labor, that they can not lay off their employees, will help the market to recover. Almost all workers are expected to return to their jobs (and with the same wages), which will help bring the economy back to pre-pandemic levels. To the question when our economy will be like in 2019 I would answer that it is not easy for 2022 but most likely it will be for 2023.

Other measures that will help a lot are the various housing programs, the acceleration of public development projects and the state guarantees for providing liquidity to companies. The importance of the European Union Recovery Fund, under which the Cypriot program was prepared and is expected to be approved in the summer, is also emphasized, in order to start encouraging a large volume of investments in the coming years. It is our plan to reshape our homeland and build a better future for our young people.

Of course, in order to absorb the resources of the Recovery Fund, in addition to proper organization and proper planning, it will be necessary to vote for several bills. It is here that seriousness will be required and not populism or tactics by political forces, such as those we experienced recently with the state budget. That is why a functioning Parliament will be required.

In conclusion, given that our economy has endured all this time and that we seem to be opening up almost all sectors, including tourism, we should be optimistic that we will succeed. Basic conditions are not to have a setback in terms of the pandemic and to win this year's tourist year. But also to prevail an elementary seriousness in the political life of the place.

* Economist / Member of Parliament for Famagusta