Connect to share and comment

Cypriots protest against bailout talks

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hundreds of Cypriot demonstrators rallied outside EU offices and the presidential palace in Nicosia on Sunday to protest against a possible bailout plan for the near-bankrupt island.

Protesters slated President Nicos Anastasiades and the "troika" of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank as Anastasiades held last-ditch talks with creditors in Brussels.

About 500 members of the communist AKEL party gathered outside the offices of the European Commission offices chanting: "Don't bow, people of Cyprus, stand up for your rights," and "Troika prints euros and buys nations."

"We are protesting against the intentions of the troika who are not considering the people of Cyprus, but only figures and money," party member Andreas, a pensioner who declined to give his surname, told AFP.

"Their main concern is about Cypriot banks and that goes against the basic principle of the EU, guarding people's wellbeing," he said.

AKEL, which has 19 seats in the 56-member parliament, had refused to sign an agreement on the terms on offer while it was in power before Anastasiades's election last month.

"Anastasiades is responsible for this," said Charles Vassiliou, another AKEL member.

"He listens to the troika. Akel would have handled the situation very differently. We would never have put Cyprus hostage to the troika. We would have quit the eurozone and gone back to the (Cypriot) pound."

The other protest at the presidential palace involved around 200 people, mostly bank workers whose jobs and pensions are on the line, holding a banner saying: "We will not become slaves of the 21st century."

jds-dk/hc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130324/cypriots-protest-against-bailout-talks