Companies operating in Cyprus are threatening to leave the island because of the port strike, Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said on Thursday, urging workers to contemplate the scale of the damage they were inflicting.
“It is like shooting ourselves on the foot,” Mitsopoulos said, commenting on the strike measures.
The minister warned that consequences would be catastrophic for the economy if the ports continued to be closed.
Already, he added, the economy was counting millions in losses on a daily basis due to disruptions at the ports.
“I have already been informed that companies, which are served by the Limassol port have expressed their intention to leave or remove Limassol from their routes,” Mitsopoulos said.
The ports must be open to commercial activity and be attractive to investment, he said.
Mitsopoulos urged everyone to understand the capabilities and strengths of the Cypriot economy and “realise that we have a responsibility to keep the public transport system alive and bolster it further.”
Port workers joined their striking colleagues in other semi-state organisations on Thursday but have also been enforcing a work to rule since February 15.
Apart from opposing privatisation, port workers are demanding a raise in overtime pay, which was cut by the government as part of its austerity drive