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british first

At a press conference yesterday, with the presence of the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, the “Institute of Demographic and Migration Policy” presented the “findings” of its study on “unemployment and employment of third-country nationals and European citizens in the Republic of Cyprus”. The content of the “study” was actually a repetition of what the institute had already published on the matter in the past. Findings that are utterly devoid of any scientific basis and aim to lend scientific-sounding support to the institute’s xenophobic and racist positions and which put the blame for unemployment and other problems of the economy on the victims instead of on the victimisers.

Today, it is undoubtedly the case that neither the economic crisis nor unemployment can be effectively addressed without growth and development. It is also generally accepted that, in view of the fact that “domestic” capital is among other things almost totally indebted, the money for funding economic growth must come from foreign investment. It is no coincidence that the President is “roaming” the Arab world to attract foreign investments. We even distribute citizenship … to attract foreign investment.

We also consider that it is generally accepted and scientifically documented that migrants contribute significantly to the much desired economic development as well as to the improvement of the skills of the local labour force.

The piecemeal reference to statistical data, as for example capital outflows, without comparing them with the much larger capital inflows by non-Cypriots, is another proof of their attempt to lend reasonableness to their xenophobia.

On the basis of the above, we consider that the “recipes” of the “study” lead to further economic depression and higher unemployment rather than to their being effectively addressed.

In the presentation of the findings of the “study” there was a cunning attempt of identifying and confusing “European citizens” with “third-country nationals”, so as to conceal rhetorically the fact that third-country nationals work under conditions of modern slavery in sectors impossible to attract unemployed Cypriots, while European nationals must be treated equally, otherwise any policies and measures violating this principle are illegal. By appealing to “patriotism” time and again during the conference they sought to hide their illegal entreaty for discriminatory and racist treatment not only of third-country nationals but also of European citizens by the state and employers.

In conclusion, with this presentation the institute has in essence repeated its xenophobic positions and opinions, without adding anything to verify them and without revealing anything about the identity and methodology of the “study”.

Finally, KISA considers it unacceptable that with her presence the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance chose to lend support and prestige to the xenophobic and racist positions of the institute.

The Minister, as the political head of the competent Minister for the protection of the working rights of all working people and for fighting discrimination and promotion of equality in the labour market, cannot participate in and support events of organisations that incite discrimination and racism in the country, nor can she regularly have meetings and consultations with them, while at the same time she refuses cooperation and dialogue with organisations fighting against racism and discrimination.

KISA strongly condemns this political support, which is in fact one of the major factors that have paved the way for the upsurge of extreme right and neo-fascist organisations and forces throughout Europe, and it calls on the Minister to publicly state whether she espouses these positions.

KISA Steering Committee

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