Bailed-out Cyprus outlines measures aimed at reducing high unemployment rate

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus has earmarked 340 million euros ($467.5 million) to help combat joblessness, which is expected to peak next year at over 19 per cent in the bailed-out country.

President Nicos Anastasiades says 300 million euros — half of which will come from the European Investment Bank — will be channeled to commercial banks for low-interest loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Some 7 million euros will help subsidize one existing employee’s salary for 10 months at each of 1,000 small retail businesses. The government will also pay half the salary of newly-hired jobless persons in the sector for six months.

Another 8.5 million euros will be used to support 2,500 university graduates under 35 to gain six months-worth of workplace experience.

Anastasiades unveiled a total of ten unemployment-fighting measures on Wednesday.