The unemployment rate in south Cyprus reached 14.7 per cent in December, one of the highest increases in the European Union.
In the meanwhile, unions warned yesterday that the ongoing builders strike, which is entering its ninth day, could escalate into an all-out general strike if employers did not show signs they were ready to negotiate.
While they voiced their readiness to talk, unions also warned that things could get worse if the matter was not resolved soon.
“We are warning of the danger of labour peace exploding because of the builders’ strike,” said right-wing union SEK’s boss Nicos Moiseos.
Moiseos said yesterday his union had decided how to react but it would not announce anything, in order to give the labour minister time to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.
The building workers are on strike in protest against the many lay-offs in the building trade and the importation of cheap foreign labour.