A general strike in the Turkish-controlled northern sector of Cyprus entered its second week, with concern growing about the health risks posed by the piles of uncollected garbage lying in he streets. The strikes were called by 40 labor federations to protest an austerity plan that was introduced to help revive the failing economy in the north.
But Rauf Denktash, a Turkish Cypriot leader, said that measures suggested were geared mainly to save the treasury money, but would enjoy little success in solving the core economic issues. He added that what was needed were means to promote economic activity, and noted that it is what the Turkish government in Ankara expected the Turkish Cypriots to do.
In the meantime, the effects of the strike are widespread. Hospitals in the area are only dealing with emergency cases only, and 99 percent of primary school teachers and 70 percent of secondary school teachers are staying away from work.
Passengers are stranded at the ports of Kyrenia and Famagusta, and shipments of agricultural produce are rotting on the quayside. Seventeen vessels are stuck in port. Unattended faults in the telecommunications sector have left 12,000-15,000 people with telephone communication. – (Albawaba-MEBG)