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Cyprus

AKEL will fight privatisations until the end

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou

If it does not succeed in stopping the privatisation of large semi-government organisations, main opposition AKEL will fight to nationalise them when it comes to power again, its leader said on Wednesday.

Speaking at Limassol port, Andros Kyprianou reiterated his party’s disagreement with the privatisation of the ports authority, the electricity company, and state telecoms company CyTA.

AKEL has submitted a proposal to stop the privatisation process.

“If we do not succeed to prevent this in parliament … I want to make it clear that when AKEL participates in the government again, one way or another, it will be at the forefront returning these organisations to the state.”

Kyprianou said privatising the three organisations was not necessary but it was an ideological fixation the government and international lenders had.

The AKEL chief said he could not see the logic of turning over profitable organisations to private hands.

“At the moment, the ports authority is making between €25m and €30m annually, which was expected to reach €75 to €80 due to the natural gas,” Kyprianou said.

“It is one thing to have problems and trying to solve them and another to demolish them.”

His party supported the modernisation of these organisations to have more autonomy and speed in decision-making as well as the way the board members were selected.

“We will look at the current procedures carefully and if anything afoul is found, the government will have to be held accountable before the Cypriot people,” Kyprianou said.

Privatisations had been included in the November 2012 memorandum that the AKEL-backed Demetris Christofias administration had agreed with.

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