The endless parade of scandals and the short-term thinking during the Anastasiades administration have created the false impression that their policies have benefited the economy.
To grow, do we need to sacrifice the environment, which is not the responsibility of the state that people have been left behind?
Is it normal for Cyprus to experience similarly high inflation to other countries in the EU that had a dependency on Russian gas?
Is it acceptable for the state to have the highest borrowing cost in the eurozone and for banks to charge households and businesses the highest interest rates?
Is it okay not to proceed with necessary reforms, or when you do so, do they not serve their purpose?
Can digitisation of the economy wait for another century? That is their fault that young couples cannot afford to rent or buy a house?
My highest priority is to reverse those trends.
We need real change now. We need to bring the basic economic issues that matter most to everyone back on the agenda.
We will no longer tolerate an economy rigged to benefit the wealthiest in this country at the expense of everyone else.
Our goal is to create a reliable financial system and a stable economy that works for all.
That is why we proposed a series of measures that could ease the pain of inflation.
That is why we support the restoration of the Cost-of-Living Allowance (CoLA) for all, prioritising the low-paid workers.
We have proposed a housing scheme to meet young people’s demands and needs, and we aim to tax all high-value real estate in the cities that are abandoned or not in use.
We recognise that access to the financial system has been interrupted by the closure of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank. As a result, many households and small businesses have been left out, with limited access to any credit and/or financing.
That is why we proposed state intervention and subsidy on the lending rate to overcome the interest rate increases, at least for those in need.
We must prevent another wave of non-performing loans, and we need to act immediately.
Moreover, we plan to provide time for our businesses to adapt to the new high-tech world. We will also recreate small local cooperatives (purchase of raw materials, trading and basic banking services).
Time is running out for our public sector to adapt to the current needs of society and the economy.
We recognise that we are at the last minute before an environmental catastrophe and need to introduce a new energy mix model to create a solid foundation for sustainable growth and a green economy.
Our main principle is that growth cannot be considered a development if it is not based on the sustainability of the environment.
Finally, the reunification of Cyprus will be a game changer for the island’s economy. It will be the catalyst that will unleash the potential of this country.
A viable solution will truly add economic prosperity, sharply increasing healthy and sustainable investment. At the same time, Cyprus’ key role in other sectors in the east Mediterranean area will become much more significant.
What is at stake in these elections is the future of all Cypriots, and we cannot continue pretending it’s “business as usual”.
This is neither the time to abstain nor a time for a protest vote.
Such a reaction will only benefit the current establishment.
Not all candidates are the same.
We are not the same, and even on the few things that we do agree, what differentiates us is that we have the will, the ethos, the reliability, and the know-how to implement what we are proposing.
I trust the team of people that worked hard to draft the economic proposal, and I can reassure you that we will work even harder to implement it.
Based on my experience as a deputy minister for the EU during the Cypriot Presidency and as a Permanent Secretary of the minister of foreign affairs, I am confident that we can deliver the change we have promised.
For ten years, both Averof Neofytou and Nikos Christodoulides, in one way or another, were part of the current administration.
Their promises and their suggestions should not deceive anyone.
By now, we know they cannot deliver on their promises or never meant them.
This is the time to change that. This is the time for social sensitivity and stability and to address inequality.
This is the time for Cyprus and its citizens. We can make it.
By Andreas Mavroyiannis, 2023 Presidential candidate