Safeguarding Cyprus’ credibility as a business and investment centre is a personal goal for President Nikos Christodoulides, as he noted on Tuesday, addressing the 60th conference of Pancyprian Public Servants’ Trade Union (PASYDY).

Referring to US and UK sanctions imposed to Cypriot individuals and entities, the President noted that proper handling is necessary to safeguard the credibility of Cyprus as a business and investment centre. “Safeguarding our credibility is a big stake for the government, but also a personal goal for me,” he noted. “The goal of moving forward and getting over and done with this matter once and for all is the highest priority of my Government”, he underlined.

The President emphasised that “maintaining fiscal discipline, expanding the productive base of the economy and continuously promoting structural reforms” contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the economy and strengthening the welfare state, noting that by maintaining fiscal discipline and through a human-centered approach, the aim is to promote a series of investments, targeted measures and reforms and to broaden the productive base of the economy, leveraging research, innovation and technology as well as human resources.

Referring to the national Recovery and Resilience Plan and the long-term development strategy “Vision 2035”, the President said that it includes reforms of the justice sector, extensive subsidies to businesses for digital and green investments, increased subsidies for research and innovation, tax reform, employee training programmes, better linking education with the labour market and improving the legal and institutional framework to fight corruption.

In relation to the Fit for 55 Package and green transition, the President pointed out that it has become clear that the reduction of polluting emissions by 2030 is a major challenge for Cyprus and requires significant investment and transformation of almost the entire economy.

Referring to PASYDY, President Christodoulides announced the gradual restoration of the shift allowance and overtime compensation starting from 2024, an action expected to be completed within 2025. He also underlined the necessity for transforming the public sector into a more flexible and more effective mechanism that will make the most of technology and will reward employees based on objective and measurable criteria.

An equally important reform, said the President, is digital transformation and electronic governance. “The digital transformation of our country concerns both the relations and transactions of the state with the citizen but also the business in general and for this purpose we are promoting a number of specific actions”, he said, adding that with the strengthening of electronic governance, the necessary tools will be provided and public servants, so as to increase their productivity and improve the services provided to citizens.

In his speech, PASYDY Secretary General, Stratis Matheou, said that the reform of the public service is key for the trade union, expressing his satisfaction that it is being implemented, since it had been a long-standing request of the union.

Taking stock of the past year, Matheou referred to the new Pension System, the new transitional agreement for COLA and the extension of flexible hours for the public service.

In an introductory address, President of PASYDY, Antonis Koutsoullis said that the public sector played a leading role in milestones in the country’s modern history, such as the entry of Cyprus into the EU, the successful European presidency, dealing with the pandemic, etc.

The conference was attended, among others, by House of Representatives President Annita Demetriou, Attorney General George Savvides, Ministers, MPs and representatives of other trade unions, including representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Union Organization KTAMS and ADEDY, the Trade Union Organization of the Public Employees of Greece.

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