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EU Commission calls on Cyprus to strengthen health system

The European Commission recommends that Cyprus take action in 2020 and 2021 to strengthen the resilience and capacity of the health system, secure adequate access to finance and liquidity, especially for small and medium- sized enterprises and step up action to address features of the tax system that facilitate aggressive tax planning by individuals and multinationals.

In its Country Specific Recommendations, adopted by the College of Commissioners, the European Commission recommends the following:

“In line with the general escape clause, take all necessary measures to effectively address the pandemic, sustain the economy and support the ensuing recovery. When economic conditions allow, pursue fiscal policies aimed at achieving prudent medium-term fiscal positions and ensuring debt sustainability, while enhancing investment. Strengthen the resilience and capacity of the health system to ensure quality and affordable services, including by improving health workers’ working conditions.”

Furthermore the Commission recommends to the  authorities to take action to “provide adequate income replacement and access to social protection for all” and “Strengthen public employment services, promote flexible working arrangements and improve labour market relevance of education and training.”

The Commission also recommend to the authorities to “secure adequate access to finance and liquidity, especially for small and medium- sized enterprises. Front-load mature public investment projects and promote private investment to foster the economic recovery. Focus investment on the green and digital transition, in particular on clean and efficient production and use of energy, waste and water management, sustainable transport, digitalisation, research and innovation.”

Finally, “step up action to address features of the tax system that facilitate aggressive tax planning by individuals and multinationals. Improve the efficiency and digitalisation of the judicial system and the public sector.”

In a similar manner the Commission recommends that Greece should take action in 2020 and 2021 to:

– on line with the general escape clause, take all necessary measures to effectively address the pandemic, sustain the economy and support the ensuing recovery.

– when economic conditions allow, pursue fiscal policies aimed at achieving prudent medium-term fiscal positions and ensuring debt sustainability, while enhancing investment. Strengthen the resilience of the health system and ensure adequate and equal access to healthcare.

-mitigate the employment and social impacts of the crisis, including by implementing measures such as short-time work schemes and ensuring effective activation support.

– swiftly deploy measures to provide liquidity and continued flow of credit and other financing to the economy, focusing in particular on small and medium-sized enterprises most affected by crisis.

– front-load mature public investment projects and promote private investment to foster the economic recovery. Focus investment on the green and digital transition, in particular on safe and sustainable transport and logistics, clean and efficient production and use of energy, environmental infrastructure and very-high capacity digital infrastructure and skills.

-improve the effectiveness and digitalisation of the public administration and promote digital transformation of businesses.

– continue and complete reforms in line with the post-programme commitments given at the Eurogroup of 22 June 2018 to restart a sustainable economic recovery, following the gradual easing up of constraints imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

CNA)

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