Cyprus Mail

Fate of limos law still in the air

LEGISLATORS are to start working on amendments to the accompanying regulations to the limos law tabled by the government, House finance committee chairman Nicholas Papadopoulos said on Monday.

The development drags out the fate of legislation governing which public officials are entitled to the perk.

“The regulations brought by the government still contain several vague points,” Papadopoulos said.

During discussion at the House, the finance minister told MPs the government had no objection to incorporating any changes they come up with.

The latest list of officials entitled to personal, unlimited use of limos includes the President of the Republic, the House Speaker, the President of the Supreme Court, the Attorney-general and deputy Attorney-general, the auditor-general, former presidents, ministers, the government spokesman, the undersecretary to the president, as well as the First Lady.

Also included are the chief of police, the commander of the National Guard, as well as the head of the intelligence service.

For other officials currently using state-provided limos, it was decided that these officials keep their vehicles on a personal basis until their term is over, but no later than January 1, 2016.

Under the current regulations, by that date officials would have to surrender their limos. But some of them would get to keep using them for state business.

Papadopoulos said the regulations do not spell out which officials this applies to, the criteria chosen, and who decides once the interim period is over (January 1, 2016) who gets to keep riding in limos for state business.

The government said the use of a state car is allowed only for state business and that transportation to and from the official’s residence is not considered ‘state business’.

Meanwhile about 100 officials – including mayors – get to keep being chauffeured around.

Back in January, parliament passed a generic law– and this after months of deliberations –stipulating that it would not take effect until July 1, ostensibly to give the government time to flesh out the accompanying regulations, which must also pass parliamentary muster.

Then, just days before July 1, parties pushed through a legislative proposal suspending the law’s entry into force until October 3.

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