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Local government reform ‘in final stretch’

Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou
Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou

Local government reform is now “in the final stretch”, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Saturday.

Speaking to mukhtars, he said he described the reforms as “long-awaited, radical, and ambitious”, and stated his belief that they will offer “a significant upgrade and modernisation of local authorities”.

This, he said, will “give local authorities the leading role they deserve”.

“Our goal with these changes is to help local communities to develop efficiently through the planning and implementation of policies and the use of opportunities afforded to us to access European Union funds by promoting programmes which strengthen sectors such as the environment, the digital transition, and agrotourism,” he said.

With preparations for the reform now in their “final stretch”, he said that “by July 1, as many pending matters as possible will be completed and the clustering of communities will be done smoothly and without major problems.”

He said preparation of areas which are to be clustered into larger local authorities is “progressing according to the schedules which have been set.”

At the same time, he said his ministry “is continuing without interruption the implementation of developmental infrastructure in rural areas.”

This infrastructure, he said, “demonstrates the importance the government attaches to the recovery and development of the countryside and mountainous areas.”

He added that his ministry “aims for the continuous upgrading of the quality of life of people living in villages and the modernisation of the services provided by utilising modern technology.”

To this end, he said the government aims to “reduce the phenomenon of urbanism” – in other words, protect the countryside and limit the number of people moving to large conurbations.

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