President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades unveiled the government’s recovery and resilience plan on Monday, the objective of which, he said, was not just the recovery of the economy but the creation of a new vision for Cyprus.
Dubbed, Cyprus Tomorrow, “the scheme is the roadmap for the post Covid era,” the president said during a news conference at the presidential palace. “It concerns tomorrow’s Cyprus, the country’s new version.”
The scheme will be funded through €1.2bn from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, €1.8bn from the Policy Coherence Fund, and €1.4bn from private investment or private-public partnerships.
“It is a comprehensive economic and social transformation. It leads the economy, technology, mentality, and institutions, into a new era,” the president said.
Through the scheme, the government seeks to promote Cyprus as a country with high levels of resilience, productivity, and competitiveness through a viable model of long-term development.
A country where the education system and workforce development are in line with the skills required in the future, placing it among the pioneers in the green and digital transition.
Anastasiades said it also aimed at creating a strong health system, a welfare state that will further strengthen the protective net for those in need.
“A rule of law state, of transparency and accountability, with strong mechanisms to stamp out corruption,” he added.
The scheme will be based on five pillars relating to public health, transition to a green economy, boosting resilience and competitiveness, the course to the digital era, employment, education, and human resources.
The president said emphasis will be given on further strengthening and upgrading public and private hospitals based on the lessons learned from the pandemic.
The government will also promote reforms and investments linked with the climate and energy, sustainable transports, water resource and environmental management in general.
“There are plans whose implementation will improve living conditions and create a better environment at home, in the neighbourhood, and our country in general,” Anastasiades said.
The third pillar concerns strengthening the resilience and competitiveness of the economy, including broadening the productive base, boosting research and innovation, and improving competitiveness through digital transformation.
The fourth pillar, the president said, it part of the broader policy of digital transformation and includes reforms and investments aimed at upgrading connectivity infrastructure and advancing electronic governance.
The fifth pillar concentrates on employment, education, and human resources and will see efforts to tackle the lack of skilled labour, the introduction of a new system of teacher evaluations, extending free mandatory education to the age of four, digital transformation of schools, and the creation of two technical schools in Larnaca and Limassol.
It also envisages modernisation of the social insurance system to improve pensions, overhaul of the social insurance services, promotion of flexible employment forms, including working from home, and creation of centres for children, adolescents with behavioural disorders, disabled persons, and the elderly./ibna