In the hands of the Parliament the reform of the Local Self-Government

The bill for the reform of the Local Self-Government is expected to be in the hands of the Plenary Session of the Parliament by December. The Government insists in the 17 Municipalities

CNA F36e3f3f5aa874d059498e9e4ed4837e2 mlgrfLG.original 1 scaled Local Government Reform, Local Government

By Marinos Pavlikas

The knife and the pie seem to be in the hands of the Parliament regarding the fate of the bill proposed by the Government for the radical reform of the Local Self-Government. The bill under discussion is being examined by the Committee on Interior, which is expected to be represented by a delegation of Municipalities in November, in order to examine the content and to hear the views of the local authorities themselves. Nevertheless, the decision will be judged by the political parties themselves, who express differing views, mainly on the number of local authorities that are expected to remain.

The new model of 17 Municipalities

In his speech at the 37th Annual and Statutory General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities, held last week, the Minister of Interior Nikos Nouris made it clear that the Government promotes the scenario of 17 Municipalities, as presented on 2/12/2019 by the former Minister Minister of Interior and current Minister of Finance, Konstantinos Petridis. Despite pressure from various local authorities with different scenarios proposed for changing local formations, however, the Government seems to be pushing forward its initial decision and the future of the bill will be decided in the House of Representatives in December.

During his greeting, the President of the Republic, read by the Minister of Interior, addressed a warm request to those representatives of the Local Government and political forces who have reservations, "to go beyond local or party expediencies, in order to achieve what the citizens deserve from all" .

It is pointed out that, according to the presentation of the final proposal of the Ministry of Interior last December, the proposed schemes concern four Municipalities in the province of Nicosia, four in the province of Larnaca, four in the province of Limassol, three in the province of Paphos and two in the free province of Ammos. thirty Municipalities and fifty communities in seventeen new modern Municipalities, with an increase in the population of the urban areas by one hundred thousand inhabitants and savings of up to fifty million euros.

Nicosia District

Specifically, with regard to province of Nicosia, it is proposed to unite Nicosia, Strovolos, Agios Dometios, Engomi and Aglantzia in “Municipality of Nicosia” with a population of 174.167 inhabitants and savings of 17,2 million euros, the merger of Lakatamia, Tseri and the community of Anthoupolis in “Municipality of Lakatamia” with a population of 47.136 inhabitants and savings of 1,7 million, the merger Latsia and Geriou with a population of 25.009 inhabitants and savings of 2 million euros and the merger Municipality of Idali with the communities of Alhambra, Lympia, Nisos, Pera Chorio, Potamia, with a total population of 20.066 inhabitants and savings of up to 300.000 euros.

Province of Larnaca

At Larnaca province It is proposed to unite Larnaca, Aradippou, Livadia and Oroklini in “Municipality of Larnaca” with a total population of 84.036 and projected savings of EUR 8 million, the absorption by the Municipality of Dromolaxia - Meneou, the communities of Kiti, Pervolia and Tersefanos with a total population of 15.249 and savings of 300.000 euros, the absorption by the Municipality of Lefkara of the communities of Vavla, Delikipou, Kato Dry, Kato Lefkara and Kornos with a total population of 3.911 and savings of 300.000 euros and the merger Municipality of Athena and the community of Avdeleros with a total number of inhabitants 5.235.

District of Limassol

At Limassol province ο Municipality of Limassol will consist of Limassol, Mesa Geitonia and Cerkez Tsiflik with a total population of 115.527 and savings of 5,3 million euros, the “Municipality of East Limassol” from Agios Athanasios, Germasogeia, Agios Tychonas, Mouttagiaka, Arkounta, Finikaria and Armenochori with a population of 34.956 and savings of 2,5 million euros, the unification of Ano and Kato Polemidia in Municipality of Polemidia with a total population of 25.839 and savings of 200 thousand euros and the Municipality of "West Limassol" will consist of Ypsonas, Asomatos, Sotira, Erimi, Kolossi, Trachoni, Akrotiri, Episkopi and Kantou, with a total population of 28.828 and savings of 443.000 euros.

Paphos Province

At Paphos the script includes its creation "Municipality of Paphos" (Paphos, Geroskipou, Achelia, Timi, Konia) with a total population of 44.344 inhabitants and savings of 1,25 million euros, of “Municipality of West Paphos” (Pegeia, Emba, Lemba, Kissonerga and Chloraka) with a population of 16.674 and savings of 2,5 million euros and the smallest in population Municipality of the city of Chrysochous (Polis Chrysochous Argaka, Makounta, Chrysochous, Goudi, Pelathousa, Kinousa and Peristerona) with a total population of 3.378 inhabitants and savings of 700 thousand euros.

Free Famagusta

Finally, in free Famagusta It is proposed to unite the four Municipalities on the one hand and the five communities on the other to create two municipal formations, with free Famagusta being the only province where all its inhabitants are citizens of municipalities. It is therefore proposed to merge the Municipalities of Paralimni, Ayia Napa, Sotira and Deryneia into Municipality of "Ayia Napa - Protaras" with a total population of 29.463 and savings of 7 million euros, which will be the largest tourist Municipality of the Republic, as well as the creation of a purely rural Municipality, of “Municipality of Kokkinochoria”, which will consist of the communities of Liopetri, Frenaros, Achna, Acheritos and Avgoros with a total population of 12.839 and projected savings of 300 thousand euros.

The deletion of the Municipality of Paralimni

The 37th General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities did not lack disagreements, which resulted in the removal of the Municipality of Paralimni from the collective body. According to the facts, the Mayor of Paralimni, who is a member of the executive committee, submitted a proposal to change the method of payment of the contribution to the Union of Municipalities that is not based on the revenue of each municipal authority but on the state sponsorship granted . It is pointed out that, according to Theodoros Pyrillis, the Municipality of Paralimni pays an annual contribution to the Union amounting to 10% of the total contributions, as the Municipality with the most revenue, while the same local Authority receives state sponsorship amounting to only 2,5% of total state sponsorship. This, according to the Mayor of Paralimni, creates injustices, since the expenses of the Municipalities are not taken into account. The proposal of the Mayor of Paralimni did not receive a majority and therefore withdrew, while the plenary of the Union of Municipalities, examining the proposal that was on the agenda for unpaid contributions and if the Municipality of Paralimni for the last seven years pays contributions as they see fit, decided to inform the Municipality about a schedule in which it is called to pay the unpaid contributions, while otherwise it will proceed with its deletion based on statutory provision.

Speaking to "S", the President of the Union of Municipalities, Andreas Vyras, stressed that for the last seven years the Municipality of Paralimni pays the contribution as they see fit, as a result of which it sends a reduced contribution of 20 thousand euros per year. These, as he stated, are arbitrary actions that do not represent the collective body of the Union of Municipalities. In his statements, however, Theodoros Pyrillis, referring to an established in the Union of Municipalities, did not fail to speak about local authorities "tsiflikia", which exist to have some positions, while asking for the creation of only ten Municipalities in Cyprus, that is, three in Nicosia, two in Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos and just one Municipality in free Famagusta.

Source: "Simerini" newspaper of Sunday (15/11/2020)