Trade unions affiliated to Cyprus’ state-owned national telecoms company Cyta have indicated their confidence that a new government bill designed to privatise the telco will be defeated in an upcoming parliamentary vote. The Cyprus Mail quotes Elias Demetriou, head of the EPOET OIO-SEK union, saying the bill ‘cannot pass’ as the government, as it stands, cannot secure the necessary majority in the 56-seat house. The newspaper reported earlier this month that the government has approved legislation to privatise Cyta; the bill aims to preserve salaries, job security, advancement prospects and the collective workers’ agreement, while new legislation also defines powers of the state to intervene in the company for national security reasons.
A debt bailout deal between Cyprus and international creditors requires the privatisation of Cypriot institutions including Cyta. Under the terms of the bailout, Cyprus has to raise EUR1.4 billion by selling off state-owned companies in sectors including telecoms, energy and ports.