Left-wing umbrella union Peo said on Wednesday it has written a letter to Finance Minister Harris Georgiades calling on him to use everything at his disposal to pressure the banks into walking back massive charges to be introduced shortly.
The letter comes after ruling Disy leader Averof Neophytou launched an attack on the fees hike and said he would use the power of the legislature to accomplish the withdrawal of the new charges.
Peo general-secretary Pambis Kyritsis, in his letter, denounced the banks’ lack of accountability, stressing that the burden of the new fees would mainly fall on the lower to middle classes and the elderly.
“Both Hellenic Bank and Bank of Cyprus are making new unacceptable charges for the use of banking services. These charges are particularly burdensome for the low to middle-class and the low-income pensioners and are essentially deducting from their income,” he said.
“We believe that the government to date has been monitoring this situation in an essentially apathetic fashion. In the name of the free market there is a sense of profiteering and exaggeration,” he added.
The Central Bank (CBC) is currently examining the new BoC charges and will submit a report to the finance ministry in January. Under the law the CBC can carry out such reviews if it is felt that vulnerable groups might be affected by such fees.