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27-09-2023 13:33

Written statement by the President of the Republic, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, on the approval of the 2024 Budget by the Council of Ministers

Today, the 2024 Budget was approved by the Council of Ministers, marking the first budget of our administration. It reflects the clear imprint of our policy priorities. A surplus budget that transforms the core principles of the governance program into costed and achievable investments and reforms, placing people at the centre of all policies. Achieving a sustainable and resilient economy and promoting green and digital transition through modern governance are primary objectives, always within the framework of fiscal stability and responsibility.

With an estimated growth rate of 2.9% for 2024 and the generation of surpluses, we ensure a robust economy, which serves as our best defence for promoting targeted social policies and creating conditions of security. In this context, the fiscal balance for 2024 is estimated to be surplus, reaching 2.2% of GDP, while our medium-term goal, by 2026, is to reduce public debt to 60%.

Emphasis is placed on the real economy through developmental expenditures, which enhance competitiveness, productivity and overall employment income, while simultaneously creating new high-quality job positions. As an indicative example, capital expenditures relative to the 2023 Budget have increased by €135 million. The Government's responsible approach in crafting the annual budget is reflected, among other things, in a significantly reduced increase in permanent public sector positions, with just 52 positions compared to 485 in the 2023 Budget.

Strengthening the competitiveness of our economy will enable the implementation of targeted actions in crucial sectors, such as education, health, and social welfare. The substantial support for the middle class, the improvement of citizens' daily lives, and the effective addressing of the impacts of inflation constitute the pillars of an innovative governance model with a strong social and developmental focus.