Cabinet to discuss bill on Cyta privatisation next week

Cabinet to discuss bill on Cyta privatisation next week

A bill amending existing legislation regulating the operation of the semi governmental Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta), prior to privatisation, will not be put before the Cabinet on Wednesday, reliable sources told the Cyprus News Agency on Monday, saying the President has expressed his willingness to meet first with the five Cyta employee trade unions and listen to their concerns over the issue.

The bill has been prepared by the Finance Ministry in the framework of the procedure followed for the privatisation of Cyta, assets of which will be transferred to a new private company that will be sold to an investor. Its approval by the Cabinet is a precondition set by Cyprus` international lenders for the disbursement of the next bailout tranche.

However, reliable sources have said that the bill will not be put before the Cabinet for approval at its next meeting on August 19, but will be postponed to the following meeting a week later, following a letter sent to President Nicos Anastasiades last week by the trade unions in which they requested a meeting with him to argue their case.

They also expressed discontent over “the fact that such a serious bill, which could impact the constitutionally safeguarded labour and pensions rights of employees, and which directly touches on issues under discussion at the Joint Advisory Committee that was set up under the privatisations Law, has not been made available to them, so that they can express their views, prior to its forwarding to the Cabinet for discussion”.

The same sources said that the trade unions will be invited to a meeting with the President in the coming days.

The trade unions also demand that any bill governing employees’ constitutional, labour and pension rights, as well as issues relating to national security in the event of Cyta’s privatisation, should be forwarded simultaneously, as a single package, to the Cabinet and then to the House of Representatives, along with the aforementioned bill.