Cyprus will tap the European Stability Mechanism’s Pandemic Crisis Support fund to cover its elevated healthcare expenditure due to the coronavirus outbreak, Minister of Finance Constantinos Petrides has said.
“Of course we will utilize the ESM for healthcare expenditure,” he said during a web broadcast “Science Hoaxes”.
Petrides added that the Ministry of Finance will evaluate the total healthcare spending due to the Covid-19 pandemic and apply to the ESM. Cyprus has earmarked additional funds amounting to €100 million as part of the Covid-19 response package announced by the government. Petrides said increase healthcare spending include a new intensive care unit in the Nicosia General Hospital and diagnostic checks for Covid-19 infections.
“The aim is to value these spending and to draw cheap lending from the ESM,” he added.
Under the terms Pandemic Crisis Support, ESM member states can secure loans of up to 2% of their GDP in 2019, with loan maturities up to 10 years. The only prerequisite stipulates that states should commit to use ESM funds to support domestic financing of direct and indirect healthcare, cure and prevention related costs due to the Covid-19 crisis.