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Interior minister: local authority reforms are non-negotiable

Interior minister, Constantinos Ioannou
File photo: Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou addresses the 41st Annual General Assembly of the Cyprus Union of Municipalities

Despite challenges in local authority reform, efforts to implement the changes are non-negotiable, as the quality of services which will be offered to the public will be far more effective and efficient, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday.

“We are at the final stretch of a marathon effort, which had and continues to have significant challenges,” he told attendees at the Union of Cyprus Municipalities general assembly.

Ioannou highlighted this would be the last such gathering which would take place with the current structure – as the local authority reforms will be rolled out on July 1 next year.

“We are now dealing with the details of its implementation. This concerns completing timeframes over the new municipality structures, redefining pay scales for senior positions, new budges, and regulations,” amongst others, he added.

Three amendment bills are being prepared and the ministry is doing everything it can to prepare. “This ambitious project will be a complete success.”

Ioannou noted that some districts have moved forward a lot more than others. “As a coordinator, we support all efforts to ensure everyone can adhere to the implementation timeframe.”

Achieving reforms requires efforts from all involved parties, he specified.

Ioannou also referred to €632 million worth of projects between 2023-2025 that his ministry is undertaking, which deal with urban centre regeneration and development projects across several municipalities and communities.

The expenditure will be distributed with €325m in urban areas, €236m in rural areas and €71m in peri-urban areas.

“We want to maximise the implementation of major development and infrastructure projects,” Ioannou concluded.

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