The current administration can rightfully take credit for having overhauled the functioning of the state, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday.
In a speech titled ‘Modernisation and Rebuilding of the State’ – the third in a series of presentations extolling the government’s achievements over the past decade – Anastasiades highlighted a series of reforms and actions which, he said, brought the state into the 21st century.
“It was commonly observed that the system of administration had been built on the state of affairs and prevalent mindsets of a bygone era, with a constitution which through the course of time did not rise up to the challenge of efficient or effective government,” the president said in his opening remarks.
One such major challenge related to the justice system, aimed at the faster adjudgment of cases. Other than hiring 40 additional judges, the government and parliament also created new specialized courts – such as the administrative court and an International Protection Court.
On combatting corruption in public life, Anastasiades cited the creation of the anti-corruption authority, the regulating of lobbying, and legislation affording protection to whistleblowers. The government also set up a Register of Beneficial Ownership of companies, in a bid to crack down on money laundering.
In the military, the government brought in contract soldiers and at the same time cut conscripts’ service from 24 to 14 months.
Elsewhere, the administration created a registry of farmers ensuring that subsidies are targeted. Anastasiades noted that since 2013, some €100 million in relief has been provided to farmers sustaining damage from extreme weather events and natural disasters.
Meanwhile the percentage of renewables in the energy mix has more than doubled since 2012 – from just under 8 per cent in 2012 to 18 per cent in 2021.
During its ten-year tenure, the present administration “improved the quality of life for residents in every single municipality and community” through construction projects – completed and ongoing – worth a total of €4.6 billion.
“What particularly pleases me, is that we have literally transformed and revamped every corner in Cyprus, implementing the largest development programme since the establishment of the Republic,” the president asserted.
He also highlighted other major projects – the energy centre at Vassiliko, the casinos, and the four new marinas.
On ‘Cyprus-Tomorrow’ – the recovery and resilience plan – Anastasiades called it “my legacy, the legacy of this government, which will enable the country to press on with efforts to modernise and rebuild, in an environment of competitiveness, environmental and digital growth, and social justice.”