By Stelios Orphanides
President Nicos Anastasiades will make a last-ditch attempt in the coming days to convince electricity company unions to call off their strike, which could affect the supply of power, a presidential palace source said.
“Despite the fact that the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) unions’ demands are unrelated to industrial disputes and their status whatsoever, and are instead related to policy matters which the government is in charge of, the President intends to launch an initiative,” the source said. “In the next few days, the president will meet the energy minister and the EAC board of directors in the context of the understanding that emerged following the latest meeting with the unions”.
EAC unions announced on Tuesday that they will start an indefinite strike on April 6 with the participation of the “entire personnel,” in an attempt to prevent the government from splitting the organisation into two separate legal entities, one in charge of production and supply, and one in charge of transmission and distribution. The split will bring the EAC closer to being privatised, unions argue.
Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said after president Anastasiades met EAC union bosses in December that the government ruled out privatising the power producer. “The possibility of privatising the organisation is completely ruled out and the government is called to take a decision on the best way to split EAC in an efficient and effective manner,” the minister told reporters then.