After a hard hand, behind-the-scenes consultations, scenarios and reactions for the prevalence of different scenarios regarding the merging of Municipalities and Communities, the three bills are led today to the Plenary Session of the Parliament, which convenes from ten in the morning.
The landscape is still cloudy as the parties keep their papers tightly closed with the main reactions focusing on the scripts of mergers despite the essence of the local government reform, with the parties proving for the umpteenth time that all they care about is, in the end, the attempt to dominate the party map.
This is easily understood if one notices that from 62 amendments of the three bills, most concern the chapter of mergers, but also the conduct of referendums. Specifically, 50 of them focus on the bill for the Municipalities, which as it has been formulated provides for the reduction of the Municipalities to 20.
The lever of pressure for the parties is the attempt to approve referendums, despite the fact that, as the Minister of Interior recently hinted, if such a thing is approved, it will prove a complete failure of the elected representatives of the citizens themselves to pass a bill.
AKEL, EDEK in the upcoming years, while Ecologists' Movement have tabled amendments to hold local referendums, while the DIKO for holding a pan-Cypriot referendum. On the other DISY in the upcoming years, while DIPA tabled amendments against the referendums as a whole. With the exception of DIKO, all parliamentary parties have tabled amendments on mergers.
The scenarios for the mergers in Famagusta
- Her original design Government provided for the creation of 2 local authorities:
- Municipality of Ayia Napa - Protaras (Paralimni, Deryneia, Sotira, Ayia Napa)
- Municipality of Kokkinohoria (Liopetri, Avgorou, Frenaros, Achna, Acheritou)
- The bill that was until today in Parliament provided for the creation of 2 local authorities:
- Paralimni, Deryneia, Frenaros, Acheritou
- Ayia Napa, Sotira, Liopetri, Avgorou, Achna
- Draft AKEL amendment: AKEL seems to be pushing for unification Deryneia with Frenaros in the upcoming years, while Acheritou, without proposing anything in relation to the other local authorities, while it seems to be trying to push the prevalence of the scenario, throwing on the table the local referendums and the alternative scenario the unification Paralimni with Derynia and the unification of all other local authorities, apparently awaiting its vote in the event of a local referendum.
- Proposal for amendment DIPA and ELAM: Both DIPA and ELAM in their own separate amendments suggest the creation of a single Municipality in free Famagusta which includes all nine local authorities.
- DISY: Although DISY did not propose a specific amendment, it seems that it favors the scenario with the fewest Municipalities in Cyprus, and therefore, according to what the President of the party, Averof Neophytou, and the Minister of the Ruling party suggest, Nikos Nouris, his screenplay of a single Municipality would ultimately be the most ideal.
- DIKO - EDEK: DIKO seems to keep its papers for free Famagusta tightly closed, without ruling out, according to the latest behind-the-scenes information, to "sacrifice" any plan for free Famagusta for the sake of the union of Strovolos with Nicosia, something which Nicosia Mayor Konstantinos Giorkatzis also supports. It remains questionable whether DIKO will support any proposal of AKEL or will disagree with a consensual proposal from DIPA. For its part, EDEK is expected to reveal its suggestions during today's meeting.