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Cypriot municipal reform hits roadblock

Cypriot municipal reform hits roadblock

Not all municipalities are happy with the proposed changes and have come up with their own solutions

Back in early 2019, the new Cypriot government unveiled its flagship policy – local government reform. The goal of the reform is to cut down the number of municipalities in Cyprus thereby increasing their efficiency and abilities to resolve the problems of citizens.

That was to be accomplished by merging many of the currently existing municipalities into larger administrative units – that would, in the end, boast more problem-solving capacity, increased funding and better structures.        

Of the currently existing 30 municipalities, only 17 will remain – 4 of them being in Nicosia, 4 in Limassol, 4 in Larnaca, 3 in Paphos and the final two in Famagusta. You can check out how the initial proposals were laid out here

Issues and proposed solutions

Yet not everyone is happy with the proposed changes. For example, in Paphos, some municipalities are not pleased that they will be grouped with the city of Paphos – namely the municipalities of Yeroskipou, Konia and Timi have declared their staunch opposition to the merger as currently proposed.

Instead, local authorities propose the creation of a new municipality called East Paphos, that will be made up of the three aforementioned administrative units. They also cite citizen concerns and wishes, claiming that their constituents are in favour of the creation of a new municipal unit, so long as it is made up only by Yeroskipou, Konia and Timi themselves.

The local governments of the three municipalities claim that due to their geographical locations and common borders, they will be more than able to satisfy the central government’s wishes and objectives – namely improving efficiency, harnessing local potential and streamlining funding in order to better suit the needs of citizens.

The municipal reform should be finalized before the next local elections in 2021 – but until then, nothing is final.

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