Cyprus does not avoid a new wave of privatization , but the locals themselves and state-owned companies that are very unhappy . Why ? All fear that along with the release of a new tranche of aid to the country will lose a large number of jobs , as well as retirement benefits.
Lawmakers approved the bill , but there was a slight preponderance of votes . He spoke in favor of 30 persons , against – 26.
The country’s authorities sought to approve the next stage of privatization until March 5 , as international lenders , which insist on the sale of assets , set that date as the last . Government warned that otherwise the country is threatened with bankruptcy in the next couple of months.
“We will do everything to maintain taken a few months ago a course on economic stabilization, – said Finance Minister Haris Georgiadis . – Privatization – is our clear commitment . Everyone needs to understand that if we sink , all together.”
It is expected that the budget due to the sale of assets to replenish 1.4 billion euros until 2018 and it is a condition of the agreement to save the country in the amount of 10 billion euros, which was reached last year.
The main assets that are to be sold , are Cyprus Electricity Company (EAC), the Cyprus Telecommunications Company (CYTA) and the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA).
While official data on the Cyprus Port Authority not to be noted that due to the specifics of business the number of employees there is not very much, since external stevedoring , transport and other logistics companies operate almost all work in the ports . CPA owns ports in Limassol , Larnaca , Vassiliko and oil terminal . In 2010, several ports worked at least 200 people .
About 5 thousand people came to protest , fearing that after privatization, they may get laid off . In this case , the law was amended to allow safe workplaces , and this allowed the deputies from the center-right Democratic Party to support the bill .
Nevertheless, several hundred demonstrators are still at the parliament building , and they do not exclude that their protest could be indefinite.
Socialist Party EDEK MP Nicos Nicolaides said the bill would lead to uncontrolled sale of state-owned companies .
In any case, about 5 thousand people who work in these three companies account for about 1.5 % of the total economically active population , while the unemployment rate this year may reach a peak at 19% .
If the company will be in private hands , it cuts , albeit in a limited format , to avoid unlikely, since the first thing that come to make new shareholders – to optimize costs . Recently, legislation in the countries of southern Europe is changing quite active, so even legislated guarantee of job security is unlikely to convince the workers themselves.
In addition, the sale of significant public assets can have a negative impact on the economy of Cyprus in the future, but the current government is practically no choice , as the “troika ” of international creditors puts considerable pressure , demanding the implementation of the measures agreed upon earlier.