Statement by Aristos Damianou, AKEL Political Bureau member on theAKEL C.C. Press Office, 14th March 2020, Nicosia. Our country is going through difficult times, together with all of humanity, because of the spread of the coronavirus. The competency and effectiveness of the state structures and our willingness as citizens to comply with the instructions of the experts and decisions of the authorities are being tested.
We expected from the President of the Republic that in his Address he would have proceeded to announce concrete immediate measures to address the impact on the economy, society and citizens. In this sense, the President’s Address did not add anything new. We understand that the government is elaborating measures that will be announced. This must be done with a sense of urgency.
In the initial proposals AKEL submitted to the Minister of Finance, we set as the main priority the provision of support to the tourist sector and all its related professions. We attach particular importance to providing support towards the working people, small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed workers. Parents with young children who are forced to stay at home, as well as vulnerable groups of the population, must also be at the centre of these decisions. All of these decisions must be implemented swiftly, given that the impact on the economy and society is already being felt.
Concerning the competency and effectiveness of the preventive measures, we are aware that the experts and scientific community have also proposed other measures that haven’t been adopted. In this sense, we consider the measures announced by Mr. Anastasiades as not satisfactory.
In this ordeal that Cyprus and our people are going through, AKEL is ready to make its own contribution by submitting proposals and engaging in actions in the efforts to tackle the consequences. On this occasion, we express our sympathy and solidarity to all those suffering and to the Cypriot people as a whole. We express our gratitude to the healthcare professionals and to all those who are working tirelessly to address, as well as prevent the cases of coronavirus.