The taxpayer will not have to fund the cost of property compensation, UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said on Tuesday. He noted that the costs of a Cyprus settlement are lower than anticipated.
After addressing the Economist’s 12th Cyprus summit, Eide referring to property compensation costs said, “It is being worked on very seriously. There is an estimate, which we have decided not to share yet because we are trying to certify it. … What I can say is that it is significantly lower than a lot of people thought it would be.”
Eide said that the EU and other countries will actively contribute through donations and guarantees.
The private sector would also have a role, he said, “with the aim of return of investment but channelled in modern ways and to capitalise on the already existing value in the country”.
Asked about using future gas revenues to fund a solution, Eide said that there is “more than one view on that issue” but said his own experience is that it is helpful to take the risk out of a private investment.
“I reduce the risk of loss but you still get the gain. If we have something to guarantee this against that might be helpful. This is not finalised but hard work is being done,” he said.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that revenues from natural gas “will not come on this island for the next two or three years”.
“Therefore the money that is needed for the implementation of a settlement is now, let’s say next year.”
He said the perspective of revenues coming in “is just the collateral that Cyprus needs in order to withstand economic difficulties during the first years of the implementation of the settlement”.
Eide praised the work of the international financial and EU institutions, saying that “there is no place on the planet where the UN, in serving the leaders of Cyprus, work so closely with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the IMF and the World Bank.”
He said they were “providing excellent support” to work on the settlement cost and investment and to ensure that there were “stable institutions that can last a rainy day”.