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27 May, 2024
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Government emphasizes legality amid increased migration flows

Minister Ioannou clarifies that vessels had safely docked in Lebanon


Speaking at a meeting with the Interim Coordinating Council of the Limassol District Local Administration Organization, Interior Minister Konstantinos Ioannou stressed that all actions taken to address the growing migration flows fall within the framework of legality and international regulations. He added that the government, at this stage, refrains from commenting on matters concerning the protection of the interests of the Republic of Cyprus. Ioannou clarified that the vessels had safely docked in Lebanon.

Regarding the progress of the Local Administration Reform implemented by the Limassol District Local Administration Organization, Ioannou expressed satisfaction with the developments, stating that most issues regarding staffing, finding buildings, and other specific matters are progressing well. He acknowledged that challenges are expected initially, as with any major reform, but emphasized the cultural shift and consolidation of different organizations under one roof. The Interior Minister also conveyed the readiness of the Ministry of Interior to intervene in addressing any potential issues in collaboration with the Interim Coordinating Council. "The goal is for all districts to be ready in due time," Ioannou remarked.

Ioannou reiterated that personnel from three different authorities, namely the Department of Town Planning and Housing, Municipalities, and District Administrations, will merge starting July 1st. He explained that this integration of three different cultures may lead to an adjustment period initially. However, he viewed these as matters of adaptation rather than problems.

When asked about the personnel to be transferred to the Local Administration Organizations, the Interior Minister assured that the matter had been resolved, with more personnel assigned than requested. He reminded that personnel transfers would last for 18 months, with the option for employees to remain in the organization if desired.

Regarding streamlining procedures at the Department of Town Planning and Housing, Ioannou mentioned ongoing efforts since last October to simplify processes, aiming to reduce examination times. He believed that combining staff recruitment and procedure simplification would enable the examination of significantly more applications than currently.

Responding to inquiries about voter movements and submitted objections, Ioannou stated that investigations are underway, and any irregularities found would be reported.

On potential legislative changes concerning voter movements post-elections, the Interior Minister mentioned a consideration to advance application submissions to ensure timely examination in case of a significant number of movements and objections.

Finally, addressing building inspections following the recent collapse of a structure in Limassol, Ioannou stated that the matter is under review. He emphasized the need for assessing building safety by both Local Authorities, i.e., Municipalities in urban areas, and District Administrations for Communities.


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