News / Europe

Cyprus Plans Tax Breaks, Casinos to Kickstart Economy

Depositors wait to enter a branch of Laiki Bank in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 29, 2013. Depositors wait to enter a branch of Laiki Bank in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 29, 2013.
x
Depositors wait to enter a branch of Laiki Bank in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 29, 2013.
Depositors wait to enter a branch of Laiki Bank in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 29, 2013.
Reuters
Cyprus plans to lift a ban on casinos and offer firms tax exemptions on profits re-invested on the island under a package of reforms to kickstart its ailing economy, its president said on Monday.
 
Cyprus's eurozone partners agreed on a 10-billion euro rescue package last Monday following weeks of tense negotiations, but its tough terms look set to deepen the island's recession, shrink the banking sector and cost thousands of jobs.
 
President Nicos Anastasiades, who briefed ministers on the economy during an informal meeting, said the 12-point growth plan would be put to the cabinet for approval within the next 15 days.
 
The program includes measures to attract foreign investment to the island — a hub for offshore finance — as well as tax exemptions on business profits reinvested there, and the easing of payment terms and interest rates on loans.
 
With about 68 billion euros in its banks, Cyprus has a vastly outsized financial system that attracted deposits from abroad, especially Russia.
 
In a bid to attract more tourists to the south of the island, it also hopes to lift a ban on casinos, which so far only operate legally on Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus.
 
Speaking to reporters after a memorial service to commemorate the 1955 armed campaign against British rule, Anastasiades said the government would focus on "growth and incentives for growth."
 
Cyprus's bailout is the first to impose steep losses on depositors, and is expected to hit business activity especially hard.
 
Major depositors in Cyprus's biggest lender, Bank of Cyprus, will lose around 60 percent of savings above 100,000 euros. Banks reopened on Thursday after a nearly two-week hiatus to avert a bank run, but the ripple effect of their closure is likely to strangle business on the island for a long time to come.
 
Anastadiades has defended the rescue deal as painful but essential, saying that without it, Cyprus would have faced certain banking collapse and risked becoming the first country to be pushed out of the European single currency.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid