Cyprus Mail

Man rampages through welfare office after benefits cut

Photo: CyBC screen grab

By Constantinos Psillides

A 40-year-old man trashed the Welfare Services Offices in Limassol on Thursday after he was told he was no longer eligible for benefits.

The man also injured a female employee during his rampage She was taken to Limassol General Hospital but police said her injuries were slight.

Police issued an arrest warrant for the 40-year-old.

According to CyBC, the man barged into the Welfare Services Offices in Limasosl at around 9.30am demanding explanation as to why his benefits were cut.

He was told that he lost his benefits because he had money in a bank account. The explanation enraged the 40-year-old who started trashing the place. CyBC reported that he threw computers on the floor, broke tables and turned shelves over.

Once he struck the employee the man left the premises.

Employees at the welfare services offices in Limassol have previously requested police protection, claiming that they were  the targets of threats and violent behaviour on a regular basis.

It was not an isolated incident. In May, a 29-year-old woman barged into the welfare services offices in Larnaca armed with an airgun and demanded of the supervisor to give her money because she said she didn’t had any. The woman was arrested shortly after.

The incident sparked a reaction from employees in welfare services offices all over Cyprus, who held a half-hour work stoppage the next day.

House labour committee chairman Andreas Fakontis had told media on May 25 that around 1,200 beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) would be cut from the scheme as their property values exceeded the ceiling for obtaining the benefit.

One can be eligible for GMI provided he or she does not have over €5,000 in cash or own property worth more than €100,000 – excluding primary residences.

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