Cyprus Mail

PEO ‘promises’ autumn of discontent

By Peter Stevenson 

LEFT-WING trade union PEO will organise a number of events and protests in November as members look to help overcome the financial crisis, believing that more and more people are falling into poverty.

“Our protests will be in the form of a mass popular reaction,” PEO general-secretary Pambis Kyritsis said.

He added that the 2014 state budget would only push Cyprus further into recession, worsening unemployment and poverty.

“Workers, pensioners, small businesses and vulnerable groups of the population will find themselves in even more hardship. PEO rejects this route of further deterioration in the living conditions of workers being made in the name of supposedly increasing the credibility of our country and the need to implement the bailout agreement,” he said.

Kyritsis said that the government had done nothing to halt unemployment. He said he believes privatising semi-governmental organisations, reducing funds to local government by €13 million and taking into account events in the private sector, the recession would deepen in 2014. Kyritsis believes unemployment will grow rapidly and despite individual projects implemented by the labour minister, the reversal of the situation will be impossible.

“The ‘welfare state’ is disappearing as €127 million has been cut from benefits,” he said.

The general-secretary added that the executive council had decided to take the initiative along with other trade unions and other organisations to arrange mass protests.

Kyritsis said events would come to a head towards the end of November.

The form and content of any events or protests which will take place will be determined during a meeting at the start of next week, he added.

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