Spokesman Defends Eurocypria Shut-down
Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou has hit back against criticism of the government's decision to shut down Eurocypria, saying that the bankrupt company had problems from the past, and accusing DISY of hiring new employees in Cyprus Airways in 2002 as "part of their electioneering".
"I stress the date because 2002 was a year of presidential elections. It is no accident that the number of workers increased dramatically at Cyprus Airways at precisely that time," said Stefanou.
State-owned charter airline Eurocypria is set to stop operations on November 13th after it merges with Cyprus Airways. The decision to merge the two ailing airlines came after Cyprus Airways reported a 25 million euro loss for the first six months of 2010, compared to a loss of 3.8 million euros for the same period in 2009. In May this year, Eurocypria asked the government for another 35 million euros to cover its debt payments.
This morning, Kanali 6's morning radio show 'Citizen's Microphone' was inundated with phone calls from citizens accusing the government of squandering public money, and inefficiency in handling the economy. Other television and radio shows have the same tone with people reacting strongly against the economic slowdown and potential unemployment of all of Eurocypria's employees.
Meanwhile, Eurocypria's 320 employees went on strike as of this morning in protest against the planned closure of the company.