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22 May, 2024
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Persianis reveals limited cooperation with Finance Ministry

Political interpretation in council discourse exposed

Panayiotis Rougalas

Panayiotis Rougalas

For the limited cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, for the wrong interpretation of the research with a political prism and for the fiscal risks, the President of the Fiscal Council of Cyprus, Michalis Persiannis, spoke during the presentation of the Budget of the Council to the Economic Committee.

"There is no culture of cooperation with the Ministry of Finance," he noted during his presentation, Mr. Michalis Persiannis, adding however that there is cooperation with specific individuals who have a willingness to cooperate. "Since we are talking in a framework of institutional cooperation, we are at a point where the needs of the Council are usually satisfied. "Personally, I will not be satisfied if I leave the Council and there is no regular exchange of views," he said.

Mr. Persiannis commented that the effort is to put the Council in a logical regular meeting with islands mainly of the MOF in order to have an exchange of specific data that will help and be necessary for the research / analysis that the Council is advancing.

Mr. Persiannis indicated that there are "islands" of terrible performance and sections that do not cooperate in the level of data exchange, necessary for the Council to compile reports that are correct. "There is satisfactory cooperation with individuals - executives that we speak, but there is no institutionalized cooperation," he concluded on this.

We are not interested in political interpretations
Then the President of the Dem. Council said he had an awkwardness. "I have to say that I have an awkwardness, because whatever we say as a Council is interpreted politically. We are not interested in this thing and we want to be strictly distanced from a political interpretation / dimension of our analysis," he commented. Mr. Persiannis indicated that, for this reason, the Council likes to warn and privately, beyond through its reports and it is something that will never stop.

The concerns
Then, the President of the Council noted that, in the short term there is a good picture in the Budget of the Ministry of Finance and maintains control, however one of the main issues that concerns the Council is the increase of inelastic expenditures. The increase in inelastic expenditures as he explained deprive the government of the fiscal space to exercise policy. At the geopolitical level, Mr. Persiannis stressed that it will be a "strange 2024", with great uncertainties and we should expect exogenous surprises.

At the same time he noted that at some point he sees increases in social spending and the Ministry should be ready. "We have a concern and in the estimation of state revenues. There is a projected reduction in state revenues of the order of 6.5%, however with growth according to our own analysis smaller than the one that the MOF has in the state budget," he added. Finally, he said that we owe a congratulations to the Department of Taxation for its work.

In depth of time - as he said - Mr. Persiannis worries about the management of the Social Security Fund which does not need decisions "now", but must be taken.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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