Pay Raises for Cyprus’ Public Employees, But Not Bank Workers

FILE - An elderly man eats a fruit as a woman uses the ATM machine outside a branch of the Bank of Cyprus in the central capital Nicosia, on Monday, March 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA – With a turnaround from a 2013 banking and economic crisis showing and a recovery well underway, Cypriot civil servants who’d seen pay cuts will get some raises, but bank workers are being shut out.

Loizos Hadjicostis, the bank workers’ union Etyk’s Honorary President, called on the banks – who caused the country’s crisis and then were bailed out when Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, breaking promises, let them confiscate 47.5 percent of accounts over 100,000 euros ($116,700) – to provide pay raises and Cost of Living Allowances for their workers.

Speaking at the 50th Annual Etyk Conference, Hadjicostis said the government’s decision to restore pay hikes to civil servants indicates bank workers and those in the private sector should be included, the Cyprus Mail reported.

Banks nearly brought own the country’s economy five years ago with bad loans given to Greek businesses who wouldn’t pay and huge holdings in Greek bonds devalued 74 percent in a failed attempt to write down the country’s staggering debt.

Anastasiades, breaking another vow, didn’t hold any bankers accountable and the confiscations nearly wiped out some small businesses and nearly half the life savings of many people, leading a suit against the government.

Etyk General Secretary, Christos Panayides said, during his speech, that the actions being taken to reduce bad loans shouldn’t victimize bank workers.

“It is paradoxical to see banking boards waste tens of millions of euro on advisers and other costs, while at the same time they attempt in every way to deprive their staff of benefits,” he said, the paper reported.