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24 June, 2024
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Census takers face hostility in Cyprus

Dogs released, guns drawn in some cases, many citizens refuse to give out personal information


Census workers in Cyprus are facing hostile residents during the ongoing campaign, as many citizens say they are worried about their personal information also being collected for sinister purposes.

According to Philenews, employees in the Statistical Service Department said the conditions under which the census was being carried out “have not been the best,” citing both the pandemic but also a cloud of suspicion.

While many people have been polite and cooperative, census workers reported that some citizens raised multiple issues with the campaign, including concerns that personal information not relevant to the census was being asked beyond a head count and living conditions.

Census workers reported that some citizens raised concerns that personal information not relevant to the census was being asked beyond head count and living conditions

Many parents have also been resisting questions where they would be providing identification numbers of their children or other personal information, citing privacy concerns.

In one case a resident reportedly drew a gun on a census employee while others “released the dogs” on the workers.

The state said privacy will be respected and has called on citizens to cooperate with workers and volunteers, who are trying to help the statistical department get an exact picture of the needs of Cypriot citizens and foreign persons both in physical and geographical terms.

While there are no plans to carry out censuses, local media suggested the ongoing census is to be the last one in the Republic of Cyprus, with officials citing other systems from which information can be drawn.

Last year nationalist party ELAM, which presides over the House census committee, said it would use its leadership role to focus mainly on the migration question but also address another issue pertaining to large families.

But some critics and dissenters have cried foul over the idea of providing a lot of personal information or even wasting time to interact physically with a person amid the pandemic instead of mailing in a form.

Cyprus  |  census  |  demographic  |  citizen  |  population  |  ELAM

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