The upcoming implementation of local government reform, scheduled for July 1, is marred by distortions and overlooked techno-economic data, leading to non-viable municipalities. Despite initial intentions, municipalities like Paphos and Strovolos will remain independent entities, raising concerns about the efficacy of the reform.
Reliable sources from the Ministry of Interior highlight that decisions made during political negotiations ignored expert studies, resulting in the creation of non-viable municipalities lacking the necessary population mass and economic benefits. The Parliament's introduction of additional amendments further complicates the reform, with criticisms aimed at the decision to enlarge certain municipalities, creating potential challenges.
Notably, the appointment of numerous deputy mayors with potentially limited duties and high salaries has sparked controversy. A total of 93 deputy mayors are expected to receive monthly remuneration ranging from €717 to €2,987, amounting to an annual cost of €2.3 million. The responsibilities of deputy mayors remain limited, subject to the transfer of such duties by the mayor at the municipal district level, potentially leading to conflicts. This unexpected development raises questions about the effectiveness and fairness of the reformed local government system.