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Coronavirus: Nightclub owners protest, say they received less help than other businesses

Nightclubs reopen today, but scenes like this are not allowed

The Cyprus nightlife association (Pasyked) announced on Monday its members plan to protest later in the week as they feel excluded from state help.

In a written announcement, nightclub owners “sent out an SOS,” saying many are facing eviction as landlords assume they are hoarding the money they receive from the government instead of paying rent.

However, the truth is that the nightlife industry has received much less help than other sectors, Pasyked said, pointing towards an “urgent need for a comprehensive plan to save the industry”.

The money nightclubs have received from the state is so small that once they are allowed to reopen (from June 10), it will barely be enough to cover taxes for less than six months, they said.

“While other sectors have been allowed to operate and benefit – even profit – from government aid, the nightlife industry has recorded losses for 60 consecutive weeks, with the fate and viability of 2,000 jobs still unknown,” it added.

Pasyked explained that subsidies from the ministry of finance are calculated by a special algorithm and are based on the amount of time a business has had to partially or fully suspend operations, and on the nature on the business.

To date, despite 60 weeks of zero income, Pasyked members have only received support for half of that time, but continue to accumulate losses and debt while trying to feed their families, the announcement said.

Lastly, Pasyked said that the nightlife industry has not been able to benefit from the labour ministry’s employment support plans since it has not been allowed to operate.

They concluded that all they have done for the past year is hand over government aid to their employees, since they have not fired anyone.

On Wednesday, members of the association will be marching towards the ministry of finance and the presidential palace to deliver the industry’s demands.

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