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Cyprus

Yeroskipou defends mayor’s salary

Yeroskipou mayor Michalis Pavlides

By Elias Hazou

Yeroskipou municipality probably fumbled it on Tuesday when it sought to set the record straight regarding its mayor’s remuneration.

In a statement, the municipality said mayor Michalis Pavlides was among the lowest paid mayors on the island.

The statement came in the wake of the publication of the Auditor-general’s report for 2013.

The report listed the gross salaries of all 39 mayors, with Pavlides among the highest paid at €62,067 per annum.

The number was then reproduced by several media outlets.

But the report misreported Pavlides’ income, which was really €50,354, Yeroskipou municipality said.

The figure published in the Auditor-general’s report was due to erroneous information ‘accidentally’ furnished to the official, it added.

According to the municipality, the mayor’s salary – as approved by the ministries of finance and the interior – has been set at 80 per cent of an MP’s salary, which is €5,584. That works out to €4,467. From that number a further 10 per cent is deducted and goes toward a local food bank, as “a measure to help deal with the economic crisis.”

That left €4,020 a month for the Yeroskipou mayor, or €50,354 per annum (including the 13th salary).

Nevertheless, the data in the Auditor-general’s report does show that, far from being a poor relation, the Yeroskipou mayor earned an income well above the median.

Mayors’ salaries vary wildly. The most handsomely paid in 2013 were Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas – in the spotlight over a series of alleged financial scandals – and Limassol mayor Andreas Christou at €70,635.

Next in line was Strovolos mayor Lazaros Savvides at €70,412, followed by Nicosia’s Constantinos Yiorkatzis at €65,907 and Larnaca’s Andreas Louroutziatis at €62,656. Another high-roller was Peyia mayor Neofytos Akoursiotis at €62,544.

By contrast, the lowest mayoral salaries hovered around the €28,000 mark.

In his report, the Auditor-general recommends that, given several municipalities are “on the verge of financial collapse,” a review of the remuneration of municipality officials is advisable.

The official notes also that, according to regulations governing municipalities’ budgets, the remuneration and representation allowance of a deputy mayor in a given municipality must not exceed 15 per cent of the corresponding amount paid to the mayor.

Despite this, 11 deputy mayors earned more than the 15 per cent allowable threshold.

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