Former first lady, Elsi Christofia, joins Cypriot redundancy queue after losing job with her husband’s political party

 

The former first lady of Cyprus has become the latest victim of the nation’s economic crisis, joining the ranks of the 78,000 unemployed after losing her job with her husband’s political party.

Elsi Christofia has put her name down for state redundancy pay after the left-wing AKEL party was forced to lay people off, the Cyprus Mail newspaper reported.

Many Cypriots blame Demetris Christofias, president from 2008 to 2013, for the economic meltdown on the Mediterranean island, which led to a bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund in March.

The crisis erupted when massive bank losses from investments in Greece brought Cyprus to brink of insolvency. Mr Christofias has been accused of not keeping a tighter rein on public spending and delaying a bailout request for fear of hurting his chances at elections in February

But he says the bankers are to blame, and has become so exasperated with accusations that he ignored the looming economic catastrophe that last week he stormed out of a hearing by a committee tasked with investigating the crisis.

“I feel like I am the accused here, as the president who didn’t do his job properly,” he told the inquiry.

President Nicos Anastasiades, who won the February election, told the inquiry this week that blame did not lie with Greece, but on “the Cypriot side”.

“I would say that on 1 March, I was handed a time-bomb and the choices before me were two: either I let it blow with devastating effects on the whole country, or carry out a controlled explosion,” Mr Anastasiades said.

Since the crisis, unemployment has been steadily rising, hitting 17.3 per cent in June, up from 11.7 per cent a year earlier. The economy shrunk by 1.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year, one of the worst rates in the EU. Economists predict it will be years because Cyprus returns to growth.

About 12,000 people are currently waiting for the government to find the cash to make their redundancy payments – and it is their ranks which Mrs Christofia joins. She had been on the AKEL steering committee, and family accounts released last year showed her 2012 earnings at €149,677 (£130,000).

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible