The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) on Wednesday said it is not satisfied with the compromise proposal on the cost of living allowance (CoLa) providing for a small increase on the percentage share paid to workers.

The stance was communicated by the head of Keve Christodoulos Angastiniotis after a meeting of the Board of Directors. During the meeting, which lasted more than two hours, there was an intense discussion in relation to the CoLa proposal submitted by the Labour Minister Yannis Panayiotou.

“Keve is seeking a permanent settlement of the issue that takes into account not only inflation, but productivity, competitiveness and business viability,” he said.

Angastiniotis noted that “the issue is difficult and complex and the discussion will continue”. He added that there will be a meeting in the coming days with the Federation of Employers and Industrialists (Oev) “to possibly come to a joint conclusion on the issue.”

Asked whether the chamber will submit its own proposal, Angastiniotis responded they will meet next Friday with the labour minister to convey their concerns and suggestions, but also “the points that bother us in his proposal to discuss the situation further”.

The proposal, which was met with disappointment by trade unions who have been demanding the full restoration of CoLa, specifies renewing the 2017 interim agreement for another three years and increasing CoLA to two-thirds of the Consumer Price Index. This would mean CoLA will go up to a 66.67 per cent share from the current 50 per cent.