No guts, no glory!


Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

This “pro business” ad­min­is­tra­tion has dis­ap­pointed us on too many oc­ca­sions, not be­cause of ill-de­signed poli­cies, but mainly for drag­ging its feet on crit­i­cal is­sues and cow­er­ing to union bul­lies or even those at the helm of the brain­less po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

The point­less de­bate about tax­ing the re­tire­ment bonus to pub­lic ser­vants has al­ready been mo­nop­o­lised by the gov­ern­ment work­ers moan­ing their demo­cratic rights have been abused. They de­clared an all-out strike for Fri­day and, as ex­pected, the gov­ern­ment chick­ened out with the Cab­i­net now say­ing that the whole is­sue could be dis­cussed.

But, why ne­go­ti­ate? Surely, the cri­sis that this pres­i­dency in­her­ited from its in­com­pe­tent pre­de­ces­sors should be re­garded as a force ma­jeure and the con­di­tions de­mand that rad­i­cal mea­sures be taken for as long as nec­es­sary. A harm­less trim­ming of the pub­lic pay­roll hardly put a dent in the na­tional pay­ments, so how will civil ser­vants not show­ing up for work change any­thing?

Hear­ing the pub­lic doc­tors’ union chief say­ing that a 24-hour strike was “more ef­fec­tive” than a 3hour warn­ing was prob­a­bly the most stupid thing ever aired on na­tional ra­dio in the past few days. Does this mean that if you have a heart at­tack dur­ing a strike or break 48 bones in a car crash, then the dam­age to your health will be softer?

But then again, why does the gov­ern­ment feel the need to ne­go­ti­ate with civil ser­vants? After all, the spe­cific tax­a­tion is on a bonus fully dished out by the em­ployer (the gov­ern­ment) with ab­so­lutely no con­tri­bu­tions from the civil ser­vants. The Pres­i­dent and the Fi­nance Min­is­ter should have called the unions’ bluff and on Fri­day they would have sat back to en­joy the crit­i­cism of the strik­ers from the gen­eral pub­lic, a.k.a. the tax­pay­ers.

Worse still, when the cri­sis first broke and talk of low­er­ing the civil ser­vants’ pay­roll got the trade unions up in arms, the civil ser­vants’ trade union PASYDY bosses threat­ened that they would “name and shame” all those dodg­ing taxes, with noth­ing even­tu­ally com­ing out.

The day that this gov­ern­ment chooses to be more de­ci­sive on any and all is­sues of vast im­por­tance to all of us, then that will be the day that they will re­gain our trust, and prob­a­bly our vote… But don’t push your luck!

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