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

Opilio Recruitment: Full Stack Software Developer

£35k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Opilio Recruitment: Senior Developer

£50k - 60k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...

Opilio Recruitment: Senior Front End Developer

£50k - 70k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...

Opilio Recruitment: Senior Digital Designer

£50k - 55k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An exciting opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game