“The end result is not the ideal”, says the Ministry of Interior – It returns and re-positions itself in the Local Government reform debate – Determination to achieve the goal
The Minister is backof Interior and re-positions itself in the public debate on the reform of Local Self-Government,
In a written statement Konstantinos Ioannou notes that from at the beginning the problems had been identified, which had been mentioned about the number of Municipalities.
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«The mergers were not made on the basis of economic and population data, with the result that today, in some cases, there is not the critical mass that will allow certain municipalities to be just as sustainable as others”, he emphasizes.
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Mr. Ioannou states that he recognizes that there are problems and that not all citizens will be able to enjoy to the same extent the benefitsof the reform. “The final result is not the ideal” he notes.
He speaks of delays from the Temporary Coordinating Councils. “Just four months before the reform, only the PSS of Nicosia has found a building to house the EOA of the District” he emphasizes.
At the same time, he expresses the commitment and determination of the Government to work from together with the Parliament and the Municipalities, “to jump over the obstacles and win the big bet”.
“Regarding the public debate on the reform of Local Government,
I want to note that from the beginning the problems, which I had referred to, were identified both during my presence before the Parliament of Representatives as well as in my public positions. In particular, I had long expressed my concerns about the number of municipalities, but also the fact the mergers were not made on the basis of economic and population data, with the result that today, in some cases there is not the critical mass that will allow certain municipalities to be equally viable as others.
At the same time we had identified the problems that are created, such as the presence of such a large number of Deputy Mayors, the amount of their remuneration, but also the dysfunction created by the decision to directly elect the President of the Provincial Self-Governing Organizations (EOA) by the people. In due course we even tried to change some things in relation to the above and in particular we had prepared a proposal to amend the legislation, but there was no corresponding support from the parties.
We want to be honest with the people. and honest with citizens. We recognize that there are problems and that not all citizens will be able to enjoy the benefits of the reform to the same extent. As documented by the statements of the former Ministers, the final result, although it is clearly better than the existing operating model of the Local Government, is not the ideal. However, as an executive branch, we are ready to implement the legislation and are committed to the successful implementation of the reform.
At the same time, I want to underline that the implementation of the reform is in the hands of the Local Authorities themselves and for this the Temporary Coordinating Councils (TCCs) should put the issue at the top of their priorities. We are concerned by the fact, for example, that just four months before the reform, only the PSS of Nicosia has found a building to house the EOA of the District. I therefore call on all those in charge to address the issue and focus their attention on the actions that must be taken before July 1, with the aim of ensuring the operation of strong organizations that will serve the citizens more efficiently.
From our side as the Ministry of the Interior, we have a supporting role and stand by the Municipalities to provide all possible assistance and support their efforts, whether these concern the completion of the “EVAGORAS System strong>” or the preparation of organizational charts, draft budgets, etc. We attach particular importance to the large chapter of the transfer of licensing to the EOAs and, with the aim of making the transition as smooth as possible, we have taken measures to simplify the licensing procedures, as well as to hire additional staff to adequately staff the Organizations.
Finally, I want to reiterate the commitment and determination of the Government to work together with the House of Representatives and the Municipalities, to jump over the obstacles and win the big bet the implementation of the Local Government reform, for the benefit of society”