“We need to strengthen the voice of assertion in Cyprus and in the EP” By Stavros Evagorou, Head of the Economic and Social Research Department of the C.C. of AKEL
4th May 2014
The social and economic conditions in the EU and Cyprus are deteriorating more and more. Youth unemployment in the European Union has risen sharply to 24%, while in Cyprus it exceeds 40%. In Greece where the government and the European Commission joyfully announced its exit from the markets, youth unemployment has risen to 70% in Western Macedonia, 60% in the Attiki region. The Memorandum implemented in Greece seems to operate as the tombstone of the new generation rather than the plan of salvation as certain circle rushed to declare. This is tomorrow’s extension of the Cyprus Memorandum. That is what developments in Cyprus and Greece have led us to.
Another important indicator which is usually underestimated during economic crises is inflation. In Cyprus inflation is now negative, -0.9 %. This is serious illustration of the economy’s withering away since the demand for goods has diminished dramatically. This is a consequence of the harsh austerity imposed by the Anastasiades government and the European Union.
The attack on wages is causing a further blow to small businesses that very simply do not record a turnover.
The third point that emerges is the reduction of labour costs. Cyprus leads the way across the EU in the percentage reduction in wages. Labour costs in Cyprus are half that in France, whilst Cyprus’ figure is even lower than of Spain. Has perhaps any one seen the prosperity promised by the Right-wing in Cyprus and in Europe as a result of the reduction of labour costs? Quite the contrary, developments are moving in the opposite direction.
Let’s look at the fourth point. During the presidential election, the Democratic Rally party was constantly and furiously up in arms about the increase in public debt and its impact on households.
Today, according to figures released by Eurostat, the Anastasiades government has increased government public debt, due to the Memorandum of Understanding it signed, from the previous 87% to 111%, that is to say approximately EUR 3 billion in just one year. Very soon our debt to the foreign lenders will increase further, surrendering our people’s sovereignty.
In conclusion, we need to project a new and optimistic message; for the people to exercise their political rights; for conveying the demand for Resistance – Dignity – Perspective. With their vote the people should transmit the message both within Cyprus and to Brussels that the philosophy must change in addressing the problems brought about by the global economic crisis. Both in Cyprus and the European Parliament the voice of assertion needs to be strengthened.
This voice of another, different path, which feels the pulse of the people’s problems, should be enhanced!
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