ECONOMY

Axed Cyprus Air staff scuffle with police during protests against airline’s closure

Axed Cyprus Airways staff scuffled with police on Monday during protests against the closure of the national carrier after it was deemed to contravene EU state aid rules.

Around 300 airline staff demonstrated outside the Finance Ministry in Nicosia to voice their disagreement with the government over the closure.

The scuffles broke out when some protesters tried to break through a police checkpoint to enter the building.

There were no arrests and nobody was seriously hurt during the protest.

Unions said they would continue their action on Tuesday outside the presidential palace.

On Friday, the government announced an immediate halt to flights by Cyprus Airways, which is 93 percent state-owned, after EU regulators ordered it to recover illegal state aid granted to the ailing airline.

Communications Minister Marios Demetriades had said the airline could not survive if the EU decided Cyprus broke the rules by giving it a 31-million-euro capital increase and a 34-million-euro rescue loan.

[AFP]