Municipalities have lost at least 25 per cent of their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic and only have enough to pay staff wages, head of the municipalities union Andreas Vyras said on Friday.
In an interview to published in Philenews, Vyras said municipalities have seen a drastic cut in their income the first six months and have received no help from the government.
“Apart from the salaries that we are fighting tooth and nail to give our staff, almost all municipalities and especially touristic ones, have drastically limited the rest of their expenditure.”
Municipalities, particularly those in coastal areas were counting on the summer months for more income by managing beach operations and other income connected to tourism. However, the figures are next to nothing, Vyras said.
Some municipalities are even considering going against many established rules such as using the staff retirement funds so as to cover their current operational costs, the union head, who is also Larnaca mayor, said.
Vyras added that municipalities have stopped paying suppliers, and fixed costs such as renewing their vehicle fleet and other equipment ordered prior to the pandemic but also a freeze on all development projects.
It is now a given that municipalities have lost at least 25 per cent of their funds and are in dire need of help from the government, Vyras noted.
“The state borrowed, businesses got into financial support schemes while municipalities had no access to borrowing or a government scheme to pay their employees.
“So far, municipalities have managed to work and cover whatever expenses they had with their own resources without any help. The only financial organisations in Cyprus that can prove they’ve had a huge reduction in income, have not received a single cent,” he added.