Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis has said that the government`s target for 2011 is to over-achieve the 4.5% budget deficit agreed with the EU.

In statements Wednesday on the sidelines of the Annual Economic Congress of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC), which took place in Nicosia, the Minister of Finance said that the budget deficit for 2010 was at 5.3% while the EU target was 6% adding that the government wants to overachieve the 4.5% budget deficit for 2011 agreed with the EU.

Referring to the first data of May 2011 as regards indirect taxes, he said that data records an improvement of 7% compared to the corresponding period of last year.

“So, our assessment that public finances will be improving seems to becoming true based on the preliminary data for May as regards indirect taxes“, he went on to note.

The Minister of Finance also described cash and deposits as a protection shield for the Cypriot economy.

“Right now there is a great shield of protection for the Cypriot economy, there are hundreds of millions in cash and in deposits in banks which can be used to refinance public debt which expires in the next months“, he said.

Compared to other countries, he said, the Cypriot economy is doing well in the field of borrowing.

He also announced that after the May 22 parliamentary elections in Cyprus, intensified consultations will begin with the social partners and the political parties in order to reach the best possible consensus to address the economic challenges.

Asked about Greece, the Minister said that the EU partners push for additional measures since the data of the four months of the year have not been the expected ones.

Concluding, he said that we have to congratulate the Greek government which “has the courage to make those difficult decisions to keep numbers within the budgetary target“.

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