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Cyprus parliament approves last budget for economy to grow 1.5%

Staff writer |
Cyprus's parliament passed the 2016 state budget - the last one under a three-year financial support program by international lenders.

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The budget approval comes just three months before Cyprus ends a three year economic adjustment program under a bailout agreement with the Eurogroup and the International Monetary fund in March 2013.

The eastern Mediterranean island was offered a 10-billion-euro economic assistance package after 11 consecutive quarters of recession and a four-year exclusion from international markets.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said while opening the two-day debate on the budget in parliament that it will help the economy to achieve a 1.5 percent growth in 2016, after an estimated growth of 1.8 percent this year.

Georgiades said that despite the recovery of the economy and the end of the adjustment program the government will apply all provisions of the bailout memorandum, including the reform of the public service and the privatization of state owned operations, such as telecommunications and ports.

The budget provides for an expenditure of just over 7 billion euros, or 39 percent of Cyprus' annual economy of about 18 billion euros.

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