While unemployment in the EU has been decreasing and in December 2016 dropped to 8,2 per cent, unemployment in Cyprus has been increasing and is 6,1 per cent higher than that of the European Union and now stands at the high figure of 14,3 per cent.
Worst, it has increased by 1.2 per cent over last year. Despite the efforts of the government to lower it, it has reached the staggering figure of 62,000 unemployed, against 57,000 in September 2015, an increase of 5,000 with 14.5 per cent for women and 32.8 per cent for the young people.
But the figures also depict the tragedy for persons who are out of work and the adverse psychological problems for them and their families.
Our association has studied ways to increase employment and we have noted that both the public services as well as the semi-government ones are so slow moving that as a result they retard the development of the economy.
The first case regards the co-owners of land. To divide plots so that an owner may develop the land he owns, even if one owner objects.
A new law was prepared which provides that any owner of one plot may apply for the compulsory division of the land. But for the procedure to progress a permit from town planning is needed and this is where things stop.
It is worth mentioning that it took five years for the new law to be prepared.
We have found that there are division cases pending in Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos and none has been completed. It is now over 20 months.
There are hundreds of co-owned properties which cannot be developed and therefore the development of the economy is being stopped.
In many countries wood is used for generation for the production of electricity. A study was submitted to the EAC proposing the use of wood, the person who submitted it had no personal gain in the project.
Having received no reply he decided to ask for the person responsible in the authority in Nicosia to meet him. He submitted and commented on the study and was told it will be considered. Having received no reply he telephoned to ask to speak to this gentleman but was told he was not available as he had retired.
The implementation of the study would have meant considerable employment as the study proposed that the forestry department permit unemployed people to cut the dried branches on pine trees, which may have meant 500 persons being employed, plus the lorry drivers to carry them to the power stations.
These are just two examples of how employment is being slowed down.
Association Confronting Social Problems, Sakop