Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk earlier today called on Nicosia Council employees to return to work. He branded those taking industrial action as street terrorists but also offered some inducements for them to return to work. Kucuk said that all Council employees would receive their 13th month salaries on Monday and that most would also get an additional 15 days salary.
The Council of Ministers met for five hours the day before yesterday and again yesterday but with no apparent solution for the struggle between Nicosia Council and its employees.
The Prime Minister then went on to praise the police actions yesterday, saying that they had reacted well to extreme provocation. He also pointed out that the union BES had been collecting union dues for years but was not ready to pay its members at a time when they were struggling.
Yesterday, BES members were on the rampage, storming UBP party buildings, strewing the streets with rubbish, making large fires in front of Nicosia Council Headquarters and having running fights with police all around Nicosia. Police responded with baton charges and arrested 22 demonstrators including union head, Savas Bozat. This comes after BES had withdrawn water supplies to the capital as well as no longer providing burial services.
The 22 arrested BES members were in court earlier today. In a surprising development, the Court refused a police application for these members to be held in custody and ordered their release. Upon his release, the BES union leader gave a speech to the waiting press and said that if Mr Kucuk thought that the current actions could be classified as terrorism, he should “see what is coming next”.