Tolerating yet another risky stupidity
I wonder if there are any people in this place with little brains wishing to destroy the Cypriot economy, especially when it is on the way to recovery.
I wonder, then, with what logic shops must be closed over the weekend and then we all expect, including the President, to attract investors to Cyprus.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, around 7,000 employees were hired by supermarkets and others, even with the minimal 500 euros a month, and they will now be unemployed and all of the rest of us should support them with benefits from our taxes, when there is no need for such measures. A shop lady was crying on TV because she was unemployed with two children and that without the 500 euros a month she could not pay the rent. Perhaps MP Angelos Votsis and the rest of the sterile policies of the 1980s who receive respectable wages as parliamentarians, income from their own businesses, have not realised that our friend on TV found a job, even if for only 500 euros a month and now she will lose it.
Cyprus is trying to attract the cruise businesses and has intensified its efforts. But by introducing laws that will regulate the opening and closing of shops will be bad for our image in the eyes of the cruise tourists. Plus, a lot of people who work all week, found Sunday to be the perfect day for shopping. Many of us visit supermarkets on Sunday where we will meet fellow professionals, lawyers, accountants and others, because that is the only day that we (male) consumers will be able to shop for whatever our wives didn’t. Consumers throng to the supermarkets and malls on Sundays, which in turn have offered employment opportunities for many out of work, so it suits us o be out on Sunday and the aim should be to serve consumers, not the petty interests of others.
So, to put it bluntly, 7,000 people must lose their jobs because of the 200 or so small shops with 1-2 employees, and we will have to once again contribute more to the state in the form of taxes to pay for the increased unemployment benefit. And is there a list at the Ministry of Labour with names, numbers, etc. of more than 7,000 people, as some political parties claim, saying that this is not the real number of people who have benefit from Sunday shopping work? So, in order to keep a number of small shops to survive, we should sacrifice the evolution of the entire retail sector?
And what will happen to the walled city of Nicosia, the old part of Limassol and Larnaca and other areas that have flourished in the last 2-3 years? Should we close them too fro the sake of no more than 30 antiquated shopkeepers in the walled part of Nicosia?
We all have to realise that Cyprus, as an all-island tourist destination, should aim to serve tourists, as well as the locals. All these amenities that we enjoy every day have their importance for the sales and investments in real estate investments. Whatever hampers (even unreasonably) the pleasant use of weekend shopping, also makes it difficult for the real estate market, especially when buyers such as British, Germans, Russians and others, seem to enjoy much more flexible working hours in their own countries. So, we should lay off those unfortunate 7,000 employees and close the malls, supermarkets, the old of Nicosia and by extension restaurants, cafés, etc. (so that we can claim to have equality), in order to satisfy the petty shopkeepers who are a dying breed of their own, due to the worldwide changes in shopping trends, conditions and services.
What is more puzzling is that if at some stage the House will also dictate working hours on Sundays for office, as the mico-offices will not be able to extend their working hours on Sundays, if they have to, due to the nature of their work or dealing with overseas clients, etc. The whole philosophy is so wrong that it extends to the financial sector and with the time difference we have with other countries, 30% of foreign companies cannot carry out their business from Cyprus because of inflexible working hours and very often we are closed. Where will this whole issue of intervention by Parliament, trade unions and others, including the banks, finally end?
That is why I cannot understand why the House wants intervene in the free trade market, even though the position of AKEL may be somehow understood, due to its ideology. But what about the rest?