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Cypriot municipalities at odds over municipal reform delays

Municipal workers even went on strike earlier this week over slow progress in implementing the envisioned reforms

  • September 25, 2020 19:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium cyprus 3477606 1280

Earlier this week municipal workers from several Cypriot cities, including the capital of Nicosia, went on strike over delays to the implementation of the government’s long-promised municipal reform. The reform, which would see the merger of many of the island’s municipalities has been held up due to the inability of the government and a minority of local administrations to reach a compromise on a range of proposed unification plans.  

Vital for the country’s long-term wellbeing

A majority of Cypriot municipalities remain in favour of the reform – their only complaint now is that it is taking far too much time. The government’s plan previews the merger of the country’s 30 municipal units, reducing their number to a total of 17. This way, over 83% of Cyprus’s population will be located in a municipality which would allow for them to more easily benefit from the many services that their administrations and structures offer.

Furthermore, the reduction of the number of municipalities will allow for the streamlining of funding and for better planning of municipal priorities. In forging a more straightforward power structure, the Cypriot government sees a good way to achieve long-term progress.

During this week’s protests by municipal workers, Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis voiced his support for their demands, stating that he shares their concerns about the prolonged delay and that "this stagnation prolongs life in a model that everyone agrees does not allow municipalities to effectively manage issues that affect the quality of life in cities and affect the service of citizens”.

He further pointed to the many advantages and benefits that the mergers and streamlining would entail, claiming that “Specifically for Nicosia, the creation of a Municipality will create the conditions for a single administration, a single urban plan (putting a brake on the horizontal spread of the city), a single traffic plan and a singular enforcement of the legislation. All of the above contribute to increasing the density of the urban centre, making it sustainable.”



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