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Cyprus

Government to foot Nicosia municipality’s traffic lights bill

The Interior ministry will cover the arrears of local government authorities to the Nicosia municipality for the maintenance of traffic lights, while withholding the equivalent from their 2015 government grant, minister Sokratis Hasikos said on Tuesday.
Last Wednesday, the Nicosia municipality announced it would axe all services for traffic lights maintenance to other municipalities as of January 1, because it was owed €400,000 for unpaid services.
In a statement, the interior ministry said that a 1982 cabinet decision assigned the maintenance of traffic lights to the Nicosia municipality, with each local government body contributing its share.
But the number of traffic lights has shot up over the years, from 38 in 1982 to 560 in 2014, and total maintenance costs islandwide are currently estimated at €45,000 per month.
As many municipalities and local councils have been unable to contribute their share to Nicosia municipality, total arrears of €370,000 have accumulated, the ministry’s statement said.
“Due to this situation, the Nicosia municipality appears to be facing difficulty fulfilling its own obligations as regards this matter,” it added.
“In order to remedy the situation, the interior minister has decided to cover the amount in arrears to the Nicosia municipality, withholding the equivalent amount from the government grant to the municipalities and local councils that have fallen behind in their obligations,” the statement said.
“Also, the Nicosia municipality will be granted an additional €130,000 – also in arrears – from funds saved from the interior ministry’s 2014 budget,” the statement concluded.

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