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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Our View: Real jobs are created by businesses not the state subsidising wages ]

Our View: Real jobs are created by businesses not the state subsidising wages

WE WISH we could share the optimism of Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou who believed that the three schemes she announced yesterday would provide work for some 8,000 people who are currently unemployed. Had she not been informed about the unsuccessful schemes that were implemented by her predecessor and did next to nothing in restricting, let alone reducing, unemployment figures?

In Cyprus all politicians, irrespective of their ideological background, subscribe to the idea that the state has a moral obligation to create jobs. For decades, this was exactly what our state was doing – creating tens of thousands of unnecessary, highly-paid jobs in the civil service, the National Guard, local government, semi-governmental organisations – and it is the main reason it is now bankrupt.

But we still refuse to learn anything from the mistakes of the past. Only a few weeks ago, President Anastasiades announced that the state would hire some 800 unskilled workers on temporary contracts and that all 300 graduates of military academies would be given jobs in the National Guard. We very much doubt the Cyprus army, which already has an absurdly high number of overpaid officers and would still be overstaffed if it got rid of half of them, needs another 300 officers.

Emilianidou’s schemes are in line with the thinking that the state should create unproductive jobs. The most ambitious of these aims to create 6,000 jobs in the hotel/tourism industry, at a cost to the taxpayer of €20 million. It seems strange the government is helping out a sector which is in good shape compared to others, and should not need employment subsidies. Perhaps the decision was taken because other sectors of the economy have been so badly hit that not even state subsidies would persuade them to hire people.

This is the crux of the matter. With the economy in a deep depression and the banks malfunctioning, unemployment will continue to rise no matter how many job-creation schemes the government comes up with. Real jobs are created by businesses and not by the state subsidising wages. Then again, the government wants to be seen to be doing something about the rising number of jobless and the announcement of job-creation schemes is better than nothing.

As things are, the number of the jobless would keep rising, while wages in the private sector would keep falling, no matter how many schemes the government announces. This unfortunately is the reality and there is very little that can be done by state to change it.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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