Speech by the Mayor of Limassol, Mr. Andreas Christou, at the European Students Union Conference “The crisis is getting deeper. Is society under threat?”
Wednesday, 17 October 2012, at 7.00 p.m., at Navarria hotel.
Dear friends and distinguished guests,
It is a great honour and pleasure for me to welcome you to Cyprus and the city of Limassol. I wish you a pleasant stay and a successful conclusion to the proceedings of your Conference.
Forty years ago, I had the privilege to be part of the group of the students, that founded the Pan Cyprian Federation of Students Union, and this is why I am extremely delighted that the Cyprus Students Movement as well as the International Students Movement continue to play a unique role in the society and be actively engaged in conversation around the common concerns of the peoples of Europe.
It is undeniably true that the economic crisis we are now experiencing is the result of acute problems deriving from the current economic model, the disproportionate distribution of income, the disparity between the rich and the poor as well as the economic gap between the North and the South.
At the same time, the effects of the economic crisis are felt more sharply by the most vulnerable and weak social groups including pensioners, women, young workers and students.
We, Europeans, need to fight against the harsh consequences of this economic crisis and implement a coordinated action plan where national unions, progressive political forces, trade unions and people act together to lighten the burden carried on the shoulders of our younger generations, as we mortgage their future with reductions in wages and benefits, the return to a system of exploitative labour relations, drastic cuts in social security benefits and the repayment of unsustainable debts.
I am certain that the European Students Movement with its long experience and renowned tradition in struggle for safeguarding the rights of students and young generations will take action, as it has done many times in the past.
I welcome you all warmly to Cyprus once again and wish you all the best for the future.