NICOSIA, Cyprus – Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Cyprus' parliament to voice opposition against legislation that will pave the way for the privatization of state-owned companies.
Barricades and a cordon of police in full riot gear have blocked off the street leading to parliament where lawmakers will vote on the bill later Thursday.
Among the protesters are workers from Cyprus' electricity, telecommunications and ports authorities which have been earmarked for privatization.
Privatizations are a condition of Cyprus' 10 billion euro ($13.66 billion) rescue package that the country agreed with international lenders last year.
The legislation is a prerequisite for Cyprus to receive the next batch of bailout money that the government said is needed to stave off bankruptcy.
Lawmakers have introduced amendments to the legislation to protect workers' jobs and pension benefits.