NICOSIA – Prices are rising across the board for most commodities, including grain and energy – pushed higher by the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but aren’t seen driving Cyprus into a recession.
That was the assessment of Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides who said he, nevertheless, is anxious about the jumping and pumping prices and that it could push inflation into “stagflation,” said Kathimerini.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with the Office of the Commissioner for State Aid Control, Petrides said public financing will be affected by the continuing war in Ukraine.
That will be topic number one for meetings of the Eurogroup of European Union finance chiefs and Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) he said he will attend.
Asked about the likelilhood of a recession – especially with EU sanctions prohibiting Russian airlines, which means tourists – he avoided giving a real answer and while doubting the chance said, “The job of the Ministry of Finance is always to worry, especially in times of such geopolitical developments.”
“The economic growth rate will be affected, but I think it will still be positive,” he said, adding that “we are starting to build on 80 percent of the tourism flow and this will bring in revenues which we did not have even last year when the flow was at 50 percent.”
He didn’t explain how that would be possible without Russian tourists, who are a key market, and with so much Russian money on the island that it’s been called Moscow on the Med.
He said that, “The main concern right now is inflation, which is already high as a result of the pandemic. We are looking at measures to mitigate rising costs as well as disruptions to gas supply.”
He admitted there will be a heavy cost to bear because the EU relies on Russia for up to 40 percent of its energy that will still be coming despite the sanctions, adding that, “This will not be without consequences.”