As axed Cyprus Airways staff continued their mobilisation following Friday`s announcement of the airline`s closure, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades promised to show understanding to the demands put forward by their trade unions.
The staff gathered outside the Presidential Palace on Tuesday and held a peaceful demonstration, expressing their indignation for the abrupt closure of the national carrier.
The government announced the airline`s closure after the European Competition Commission ruled on Friday that Cyprus Airways would have to pay back over €100 million in state aid it had received in previous years as it gave the company an undue advantage over its competitors in breach of EU rules.
The CY staff are scheduling a new demonstration on Thursday, 15 January outside the House of Representatives while their unions, in a letter to political parties, are asking for meetings to discuss the situation.
The general secretaries of trade unions SEK and PEO, Nicos Moiseos and Pambis Kiritsis respectively, during their meeting with the President, delivered a resolution to the President.
Following the meeting, deputy Government Spokesman, Victoras Papadopoulos, in a statement on Tuesday said President Anastasiades has listened closely and sensitively to the CY staff demands.
He said President Anastasiades “has shown understanding to the demands put forward” and repeated that the CY staff will be fully reimbursed, in line with existing legislation that governs the rights of compensation.
The statement said the state will contribute more than 14 million euro to cover the gap in the employees` provident funds and that if a new Cyprus airline is set up, the government will do whatever possible to help most of those dismissed to be reinstated.
Papadopoulos also said that if the state`s finances allow, some of the demands put forward by the unions will be examined with the necessary understanding.
The trade union representatives said they look forward to their next meeting with the President to achieve the best possible result. Demonstrators called on the unions to receive written assurances from the President on possibly recruiting axed staff to sectors of the civil service and extra compensation for their dismissal.