Insider / ΚΥΠΕ
Amendments submitted by the parties regarding the bills for the reform of the Local Self-Government were put under the microscope of the Parliamentary Committee of the Interior today, with the Chairman and members of the Committee from all parties emphasizing that the goal is to put the bills to a vote in Plenary session of the legislature in February.
The Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee of AKEL, Aristos Damianou, stated after the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, that at the beginning of it “we already had more than 50 amendments from all the parties and during the meeting amendments from DISY “.
He added that “we have passed a large part of the amendments. In some there have already been convergences and they will be incorporated in the texts, for others others need further discussion and amendments are pending, which have not yet been presented and discussed,” he said.
He noted that “this will be done next Thursday, with the aim, if possible, to complete the debate on amendments. “It's the indicative time frame we have set as the Home Affairs Committee,” he added.
He said that “a lot of work has already been done and to a large extent there have been those necessary convergences to see with optimism the prospect of voting in favor of the reform in the TA”.
He pointed out that “some of the amendments concern the thorny issues of mergers, the aggregation of the number of municipalities, the way of electing deputy mayors and other issues that have to do with the functionality of municipalities and provincial organizations”.
However, I believe that in a spirit of consensus and in the climate in which we met today, it may be possible to complete this effort, said the Chairman of the Committee on Interior.
Mr. Damianou also said that he wants to believe that any plans of the parties for the presidential elections will not affect the way and the behaviors before the Committee of Interior, “as we have done so far”.
“Woe and woe if the issues of the functioning of the institutions, the need for reform in the TA are mortgaged to any expediencies that may exist for the presidential elections,” he said.
Regarding the number of municipalities, he said that today DISY presented before the Commission an amendment to add another Municipality, the Municipality of Aradippou, which will be discussed next week.
DISY MP Nikos Sykas said that the meeting of the Interior Committee continued in a consensual atmosphere. He added that in today's session, DISY, following the letter it had sent in the previous session, submitted those amendments that are essentially in line with the provisions of the original bill submitted by the Government.
Mr. Sykas stated that the discussion is taking place in an atmosphere of responsibility, with the aim through a beneficial compromise to proceed to the vote within February of the TA reform.
He stressed that this reform is an insurmountable, national and social need, far from any party or political expediencies, and expressed the belief that “with the same consistency we will have a happy ending to be led within February” to vote for the reform of T. A
Answering a question, Mr. Sykas said that “we remain stable over time regarding the Government bill that provides 17 municipalities and basis and with the explanatory note of the Minister there are two alternatives without increasing the number of municipalities concerning the province of Larnaca “.
He continued that “I believe we will see this in the context of the broader consensus because our goal is whether it is possible to go to the Plenary Session of the Parliament”, and stressed that “sustainable municipalities based on the studies that have been done should not exceed 17 “.
The Parliamentary Representative of DIKO, Panikos Leonidou, said that DIKO has tabled a series of amendments “which we have discussed at first sight today and it seems that there is a good mood and intention from all colleagues to have a consensus, to have responsibility and The goal by the end of February is to find a definitive solution to this major issue that we have been discussing for a long time. “
Mr. Leonidou said that “we can find solutions for the next amendments, which are equally important and concern the mergers, concern the issue of the referendum, concern other points that will concern us, but I believe in a good mood and with responsibility we find the solution “.
He stated that during today's discussion “the intention of all of us to have a final outcome in all this course that the issues of reform have been discussed for ten years has become clear”.
He also noted that “we tried with the consent of other colleagues and it seems at first sight that we are leading to create a third case of establishment of entities for previous Improvement Council which have been abolished by special law and integrated into municipalities.”
EDEK MP, Kostis Efstathiou, said that “the pleasant thing is that we talk to each other in a good spirit, we are very close to a consensual solution as much as we can” and thanked everyone for the excellent work done in the Interior Committee.
The MP of the Democratic Party – Cooperation of Democratic Forces, Marinos Mousiouttas, said that “we remain firm in the position that we should have already proceeded with the reform”. He stressed that “it is a pity and unfair for political purposes to delay further”.
He stated that “we have before us all the amendments of the parties and we started their discussion. There are around 80 amendments. Today we passed the amendments of three parties, around 30”.
He added that “the next session will be spent discussing amendments. I hope and hope the schedule we set today and it is stated that on February 10 the bills will be before the Plenary, to be implemented and no unnecessary delays will be observed by anyone,” he said. .
Mr. Mousiouttas said that if and if this schedule is not implemented “we will raise the issue of holding municipal elections because we have not fulfilled our promise of reform.” He also said that in the next session they will vote on which amendments will be included in the bill.
Asked about the number of municipalities, he said that “there are 14 of us, 17 from DISY and 20 which is the majority decision of the Interior Committee so far”. He also mentioned that there is a party amendment to reduce the municipalities from 20 to 19.
He said that these were not discussed because a deposition and discussion started outside this point. He added that a meeting will be held next Thursday in order to complete the discussion of the amendments and the voting on them. And there is the regulation of the Parliament that in two weeks the issue goes to the Plenary, he added.
The Member of Parliament of the Movement of Ecologists – Citizens' Cooperation, Alexandra Attalidou, said that today the amendments of AKEL, EDEK and DIKO were examined.
Our amendments, he said, will be considered at the next meeting of the Home Affairs Committee. As he said, they are related to three areas “which we consider very important, the transparency that all these organizations that will be created must have, the protection of the environment but also of the cultural heritage, and the way of election”.
“We believe that the election of the members of the town halls as well as the mayors and the deputy mayors should reflect the political will of the citizens and the voters themselves, so all the votes should be represented in the future municipal councils or in the communities. “, said Ms. Attalidou.
He said that there is a great consensus in the Commission and expressed the hope that within the next month the bills will be put in the Plenary and will be voted in order to proceed with the modernization of the TA, which, as he noted, is one of the major priorities The EU itself “because without modernized municipalities and communities the Green Agreement can not be implemented, which is the big machine, which will lead us again to development after the pandemic era”.