Following a demonstration by redundant Cyprus Airport Services (CAS) ground staff at Ercan Airport on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay said: “What is demanded of us is that CAS is treated like a state institution and its employees are treated like state employees”.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said that most of the official documents to hand show that CAS is not a public institution, or in other words a public legal entity, it is a private company.
CAS workers have been made redundant since AtlasGlobal airlines stopped its flights to Ercan on July 10. However, they have not received the salaries they were promised for the past two months.
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
“There is no point in trying to create a misconception that we are not talking to CAS employees. I recently had a long conversation with 20 CAS employees in the room, listened, examined and consulted with the Prosecutor’s Office. CAS employees may dislike the government’s findings on this issue, respecting that it is not enough. But it is equally incompatible to say or implicate that the government has not heard, or has not met the employees who have been victims, because we have had so many conversations with them since we came to power.
“We made a contribution to this company once to eliminate the victimisation that arises from unpaid salaries. We have a political commitment that we will make a contribution for the period until mid-July which the Finance Minister announced in parliament.
“The attorney general’s view is that most official documents at hand show that CAS is not a government entity or, in other words, a public legal entity, but a private legal entity, ie a corporation.
“We are ready to offer this company a lifeline and to give some money payable to its employees, and we will make the financial contribution mentioned above. However, nobody expects us to take a populist approach contrary to law and public interest.”
Former CAS employees are demanding temporary employment in the public sector until a permanent solution is found.