The Saudi unit of Joannou & Paraskevaides has defaulted on about 7 billion riyals ($1.9 billion) of bank loans, Bloomberg new agency reported quoted unnamed sources close to the situation.

It said the defaults are the result of problems getting paid by the Saudi Ministry of Interior in addition to internal problems within J&P.

In a letter addressed to President Nicos Anastasiades published on Saturday, the around 5,000 third country national employed by J&P in Saudi Arabia who cannot go home as their contracts have expired meaning they have no travel documents, the company owes them a total of €12 million for back pay and end of service benefits.

They say they are only managing to feed themselves by selling scrap materials, while their health benefits have also been cut, meaning only the most urgent of cases can be paid for, again by the sale of scrap materials.

Saying some of them had worked for the company for 40 years, they have called on the president to intervene and make sure they are paid their dues.

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