REFILE-Cyprus utility, port workers strike over privatisation plans

Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:35am EST

NICOSIA Feb 14 (Reuters) - State utility and port workers walked off the job in Cyprus on Friday over government privatisation plans in the first mass protest over terms of an international bailout brokered almost a year ago.

Staff at Cyprus telecoms CyTA and the Cyprus Ports Authority called a 24-hour strike and the electricity authority a 12-hour work stoppage from 0700 local time (0500 GMT), with the possibility of rolling blackouts.

Cyprus's cabinet had on Thursday approved a roadmap to privatise all three corporations. Under terms of a deal brokered with the EU and the IMF, the island nation must raise up to 1.4 billion euros from privatisations by 2018.

Lenders agreed to extend a 10 billion euro financial lifeline to Cyprus in March 2013, pulling the island back from the brink of bankruptcy.

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