YPES: Boats with migrants have arrived safely in Lebanon

Anything we do to deal with increased migration flows falls within the framework of legality

Screenshot 1 14 exclusive, LEBANON, Migrants, boat

Everything we do to deal with the increased migration flows falls within the framework of legality and international regulations, the Minister of the Interior Mr. Konstantinos Ioannou stressed today, speaking to media representatives on the sidelines of a meeting with the Provisional Coordinating Council (TCS) of the Provincial Self-Government Organization (EOA) ) of Limassol. He added that the Government, at this stage, does not wish to comment on issues related to the protection of the interests of the Republic of Cyprus. He clarified that the boats sailed safely to Lebanon.

In addition, referring to the course of implementation of the Local Government reform by the Limassol EOA, Mr. Ioannou expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the processes, saying that, according to the information, "most of the issues are going well in terms of staffing, finding the buildings and some other sub-topics. There will certainly be difficulties at the beginning, as with any major reform. We're changing culture, bringing different organizations together under one roof." Mr. Minister also conveyed the readiness of the Ministry of Interior to intervene to solve any problems, in cooperation with the Temporary Coordinating Council. "The goal is for all the Provinces to be ready on time," said the Minister of the Interior.

He reiterated that in the field of licensing, from July 1, the staff from three different Authorities, the Department of Urban Planning and Housing, the Municipalities and the District Administrations, are co-located. "These are three different cultures, they will carry with them all the pending applications and therefore, there will probably be an adjustment period at the beginning. I don't consider them problems, I consider it a matter of adaptation", explained Mr. Ioannou.

Asked about the personnel to be deployed to the EOAs, the Minister of the Interior said that the matter has been resolved, underlining that "we have ensured that more personnel are deployed than what has been requested of us". He reminded that the secondment of the staff will be for 18 months and then, if the employee so wishes, he will have the possibility to remain in the EOA.

He added that since last October, "we are in the process of simplifying the procedures at the Department of Town Planning and Housing, so as to reduce the examination time. The combination of the two (incl. recruitment of staff and simplification of procedures), we believe will allow for the consideration of many more applications than are being considered now."

Then, when asked to comment on the voter transfers and the objections that have been submitted, Mr. Ioannou characteristically stated that these are being investigated and if anything objectionable arises, complaints will be made.

When asked if there was an intention to make changes to the legislation regarding the movement of voters after the Elections, the Home Secretary said that there was a consideration, if possible, to submit the applications earlier, so that there is scope for them to be considered in time , in case there are again such a large number of movements and objections.

Finally, when asked to say at what stage the issue of building control is at, on the occasion of yesterday's infrastructure roof collapse in Limassol, the Minister said that it is ongoing and added that the dangerousness of the buildings must also be examined by the Local Authorities, i.e. the Municipalities in municipalized areas and the Provincial Administrations for the Communities.