Speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A.Kyprianou at the Worker’s 1st May Day event
1st May 2021, Nicosia
We are celebrating Workers May Day just like last year in conditions of an ongoing pandemic. We thought that last year would be the first and last time we would be honoring Worker’s Day symbolically with a few people, by laying wreaths.
Unfortunately, the government ruling force’s incompetence in handling the pandemic forces us to gather few in number this year too to honor Worker’s Day in a symbolic manner.
But no one prevents us from saying things as they really are even in this way.
The pandemic has once again highlighted the importance of ensuring, protecting and enhancing the public health system for society. It is our request and demand that the public health system must be strengthened and is not allowed to collapse so that the ground is prepared for its privatisation.
The pandemic multiplied the problems the majority of society are facing. AKEL didn’t cease operating and struggling, not even for a single day. In the difficult, unprecedented conditions formed by the pandemic, we tried to find ways to act and struggle as our principles and goals determine. That is, in the front line, together with the people.
Precisely because we know people’s problems and live them, we are in a position to propose what the people need.
The solution to the problems is the formulation of steadfast political positions, political proposals that show a way out. The crucial thing is not what one says just before any elections, but what one’s longstanding positions are, what one says and does before elections but more importantly, what one does after the elections.
AKEL is constantly in the front line of struggle. AKEL is a staunch defender of the expectations and needs of the people and workers. And it fights for them both inside and outside Parliament, always together with the class-based trade union movement of PEO.
That is precisely why both inside and outside Parliament we work for the promotion of specific proposals for working people and the many. We are struggling for the establishment of a mechanism for the legislative safeguarding of minimum wages and rights where there are no contracts.
We are fighting for the mandatory implementation of agreed collective agreements in all sectors and for the legal safeguarding of their superiority over individual/personal contracts, for the subsidy in line with socio-economic criteria of the rent of those households that do not have their own home.
For paid parental leave as high as sickness allowance, allowances to cover the cost of child care in nurseries or children’s care centres, on the basis of income criteria, for the protection of working people’s rights employed under individual/personal contracts and much more.
AKEL aspires to be the voice and force of the many.
A force for working people.
A force for the reunification of Cyprus.
The outcome of the talks on the Cyprus problem in Geneva was unfortunately disappointing. As much as this was to be expected due to the Turkish side’s unacceptable demands, it does not cease being very worrying. The Turkish side has tabled officially now its unacceptable position for a two state solution. This distances us away from the solution of the Cyprus problem and reunification. At the same time, it leaves open the possibility of new provocative actions and fait accompli on the part of Turkey. The only encouraging element was the UN Secretary General’s clear position that the international community would not accept a two state solution.
The situation as it is evolving is extremely difficult and dangerous. We need to reflect on what our further steps and actions should be. We need to clarify our goal and priorities and think about the tactics we should pursue that will help us achieve them. With logical and political thinking, not with emotion and slogans. We need to reflect on how the Turkish goals become unfeasible and analyze objectively why we have got here where we are today.
At AKEL we are ready to make our won contribution towards this end, assuming our political responsibility. We hope that both Mr. Anastasiades and ruling DISY party will assume theirs too. All parties should mobilize themselves for the salvation of our homeland.
In the final stretch towards the Parliamentary Elections, we look every worker and every Cypriot who is concerned about this country in the eye and we ask him/her to give us the strength to become their force. To achieve progressive change in the administration of the country.
We shall stand our ground and protect what the previous generations have won.
We shall win the tomorrow that the next generations are dreaming of.