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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid