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Cyprus

Omirou pities hard-done-by public servants

Yiannakis Omirou

By Staff Reporter

HOUSE President and socialist EDEK leader Yiannakis Omirou yesterday jumped to the defence of public servants portraying them as hard-done-by.

After a meeting with public service union PASYDY chief Glafcos Hadjipetrou, Omirou said civil servants should not be turned into the scapegoats of the financial crisis and alluded to a “continued policy of annihilation with respect to their payroll and benefits”.

Hadjipetrou’s comments ran along the same lines. He said the reduction in salaries combined with the contributions of public servants was approaching 30 per cent.

This had not occurred in any other sector, he claimed, despite the fact that tens of thousands of already-badly paid workers in the private sector lost their jobs and sustained wages cuts of up to 50 per cent in some instances.

“We must stop this unjustified targeting of public officials, which has served as a misdirection from the real causes of the crisis,” he said. PASYDY has long blamed the banks, Greek bonds and tax dodgers, and not the €2bn public service wage bill for the economy’s meltdown.

“Unfortunately, some have managed to convince the public that civil service is to blame,” he said.

The troika memorandum instructs the state to reduce the growth in expenditure on the public sector wage bill. It provides for wage cuts of up to 12.5 per cent on the maximum scale and a suggested reduction in numbers of up to 4,500 by 2016, among other measures that indicate the public sector was a huge part of the island’s fiscal problems.

In fact, the memorandum mentions public sector financial issues 24 times in its 34 pages.

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