Cypriot parliament narrowly passes budget

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-12 12:12:22|Editor: zh
Video PlayerClose

NICOSIA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The highly partisan Cypriot parliament on Wednesday passed the government's 2020 budget with 29 votes in favor and 23 against, after a three-day debate, during which the opposition submitted amendments striking off contentious expenditure.

Two opposition parties sided with the ruling party, which is a minority in the parliament, to pass the budget.

The budget provides for a total revenue of 9.9 billion euros (11.0 billion U.S. dollars) and general government expenditure of 9.4 billion euros (10.5 billion dollars). Revenues represent a 10-percent increase over this year's due to a further boost of economic activity and an increase of contributions to the country's General Health System.

Opposition parties wiped off the budget all expenditure aimed at funding the privatization of state assets, which was one of the main conditions of international lenders who pulled Cyprus off the brink of bankruptcy in a 10-billion-euro (11.1-billion-dollars) bailout in 2013.

Privatization of state-owned businesses was one of the main recommendations made by the International Monetary Fund in its latest report on the Cypriot economy released on Monday.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides has said he expected next year's growth to slow down to 2.9 percent, from 3.2 percent this year.