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12° Nicosia,
14 July, 2024
 
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How many public servants does it take to boil an egg?

The ''eggs-travagant'' bureaucracy of Cyprus' Public Services

Opinion

Opinion

By Michalis Persianis*

In a hilariously bureaucratic process, boiling an egg in Cyprus' public service requires a series of convoluted steps. First, a letter must be sent to the director of veterinary services (experts in eggs) requesting the appointment of an inspector to select the perfect egg for boiling. Then, with the guidance of the meteorology department (because they know about temperatures), an official will be assigned to open the fridge on a date scheduled by a special committee, ensuring both veterinary and meteorology representatives are present – one to open the fridge and the other to take out the egg.

Next, under the supervision of the mining department (they know about metals), the appropriate pot will be selected, and the Electromechanical Services department (experts in machines and electricity) will be responsible for igniting the gas at a specific time, with the presence of the gas company inspector. Another designated officer, approved by the Cyprus Sports Organization (KOA) (experts in timers) after a written request and a board meeting, will time the boiling process, while the Labor Inspection Department oversees the whole operation (for labor safety purposes).

Meanwhile, a separate procedure will run simultaneously to ensure the availability of proper capers from the relevant departments.

Now back to the egg where a multi-ministerial committee will convene to decide whether it should be broken using a spoon's belly in vertical motions or its edge in horizontal motions (a matter of serious international debate, following the renowned Jonathan Swift's references).

If the egg turns out to be soft-boiled instead of hard-boiled, an inter-ministerial meeting will be called to decide on "reforms."

According to the government spokesperson, who will issue a written statement, "reforms" have been agreed upon.

The success of these "reforms" will require 49 people, 294 man-hours, 81 meetings, five departments, two independent authorities, and an administrative council, along with four ministers (not counting the caper).

Consequently, after the reforms, it will be realized that the involved departments and ministries are understaffed, demanding 2,000 new job positions to accommodate the addition of avocado to the capers and egg. These positions will be approved by the Parliament, "as they were in the budget".

Bon appétit!

*Michalis Persianis is chairman of the Fiscal Council.

[This article has been translated from its original Greek version and may not fully capture the exact 'feeling' or tone present in the original text.]

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Cyprus  |  politics  |  government

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