What goes around, comes around

E DII TO RII A L

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The ar­ro­gance of the for­mer Cyprus Air­ways staff has no bounds. The bad at­ti­tude of some, of­ten dis­played in-flight and at check-in coun­ters, showed its ugly face when the (not) 560 staff showed up at the Min­istry of Fi­nance to demon­strate the air­line’s clo­sure. Some shouted and oth­ers pushed, try­ing to get into the build­ing, de­mand­ing that they be heard by the Min­is­ter, their main ar­gu­ment be­ing that they should be re-hired by a soon-to-be es­tab­lished company.

As if the av­er­age 48,000 euros each will get in com­pen­sa­tion is not enough, nor the 6-month un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fit based on their high-wage lev­els, they now have the au­dac­ity to keep th­ese pay scales and re­turn to their world of priv­i­leges and low pro­duc­tiv­ity. (Re­mem­ber when pi­lots landed in Paphos in­stead of Lar­naca, sim­ply be­cause their shift was over?)

But what broke the camel’s back and turned pub­lic op­tion against them was the nerve with which the scenes of emo­tional drama un­furled, a weep­ing Melpomene in an­cient Greek tragedy. “Who will feed our chil­dren?” some howled, “We are be­ing thrown onto the streets” oth­ers wailed, re­gard­less if their ‘chil­dren’ are grown-up adults or univer­sity stu­dents. The pub­lic shrugged th­ese cries, as many are on the verge of poverty, some have no oth­ers barely have enough food chil­dren.

Th­ese pro­tes­tors are the same peo­ple who smirked as their ‘col­leagues’ at Euro­cypria went on a short-lived demon­stra­tion when the char­ter op­er­a­tor closed down 50 months ago.

At the time, Cyprus Air­ways ground staff, cabin crew and pi­lots, all of whom earned three times more than their char­ter bud­dies, hollered “Bet­ter them, not us” and al­lowed Euro­cypria to be sac­ri­ficed in the name of po­lit­i­cal favouritism and union cock­i­ness.

In fact, when Euro­cypria closed, its fleet of six had just been re­duced to four, but was op­er­at­ing to 72 sea­sonal des­ti­na­tions, of which 11 sched­uled, nu­mer­i­cally bet­ter than Cyprus Air­ways.

What is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble is why the gov­ern­ment should re-hire Cyprus Air­ways staff (un­less they’re re­lated to MPs and politi­cians), and worse still, why new­comer air­lines should be forced by the gov­ern­ment to hire from among the ex-CAIR pool. If the gov­ern­ment suc­cumbs and is fool­ish to al­low this to hap­pen, then the pri­vati­sa­tions of Cyta, EAC, the ports and oth­ers are doomed to fu­til­ity.

With Cyprus Air­ways out of the way, per­haps con­sumers will have bet­ter bar­gains to choose from, with ser­vice based on what they pay for. This may also be the be­gin­ning of a new era for con­sumers who will get bet­ter deals from all pri­va­tised en­ti­ties. elec­tric­ity and to feed their

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