Planning Bureau to use all EU funds for Cyprus
Nicosia, Feb 14 – The Cyprus Planning Bureau assured today that no single euro will be lost from the European Union Structural and Cohesion Funds earmarked for Cyprus.
The Bureau explained the reasons why Cyprus is presented to have the lowest absorption capacity – 62 per cent – among the ten nations that joined the EU in 2004, with regard to the payments of the period 2004-2006.
The EU Commission earmarked for Cyprus a total of €109mil ($160mil), €55 ($81mil) from the Structural Funds and €54mil ($79mil) from the Cohesion Fund.
Regarding the Structural funds, the Bureau says that Cyprus has until 2008 to absorb the funds, adding that until 31 December 2007, Cyprus has absorbed €28mil ($41mil), while another €11mil ($16mil) will be claimed very soon and consequently Cyprus' absorption capacity will reach 71%.
It also adds that the Bureau has concluded the planning so that by 2009 Cyprus will absorb all €55mil ($81mil).
Regarding the cohesion fund, the Bureau says that Cyprus has until 2009 to claim the funds earmarked for Cyprus, adding that by 31 December 2007 Cyprus had received funds worth of €22mil ($32mil) while another €6mil ($9mil) is expected to be claimed.
The Bureau recalls the delays for the completion of the projects attracting EU funding such as the delay for the construction of the waste disposal plant, caused by the inhabitants of the Lymbia village, which would attract the largest funding from the Cohesion fund with €28.7mil ($42mil).
Furthermore, the Bureau points out that other member states can utilize Structural funds for agriculture, which can be concluded faster because to a large extent the funds can be allocated as subsidies without time consuming procedures, a fact that increases absorption.
According to the Bureau, because of its high per capita income, Cyprus cannot use Structural funds for agriculture.