Are the Authorities up to it?

June 9 2020

One wonders - dear readers - if the Authorities are up to the job to carry out their duties for the benefit of Cyprus and its people. The examples that we provide are not the full list of odd events and there are other numerous and shocking, but we will report some of them that we are/were involved with them based on our own experience.

• Let us start with the most shocking experience, the one of Paralimni Municipality. According to the Mayor, the Municipality was licensed by the Government to use a Government owned beach plot, within the seashore protection zone (meaning that nothing can be built on it), for its use as a kiosk. What a kiosk is, as we all know, is that of a small building to sell newspapers, perhaps ice-creams and juices. The Municipality duly subleased the plot and the new sub tenant, not only has provided the facilities of a grill bar, but he advertises the establishment on spot as such, including signs for selling in addition to food, alcoholic drinks etc, coupled with a sign stating that his set up was dully license and with all permits available. Because we have realized that this was far from being true (it has no building licence at all and none from the Tourist Authorities who (the latter) submitted to us that the establishment is operating illegally. For this we have submitted a complain to the Municipality, the District Officer, the Ministry of Commerce, the Auditor General and the Ombudsman. Whereas the District Officer reported to us that he cannot intervene because he is not the Authority in charge to issue the planning permits etc, he added that he wrote to the Mayor who did not bother to even reply!! As a result, the kiosk (come snack bar) is still in place. No action by the much self-promoting Auditor General, neither the others to whom we have submitted complain (only the Ombudsman reported ”we will call you back”, but despite our numerous reminders, nothing came out of it). So why do we have these Authorities that cannot/will not undertake their duties?
• The Insurance Board who is supposed to supervise the good running of the Insurance Cos (and the industry in general) which acts as a protector to the public, is now met with the big scam of a Cyprus based Insurance Co doing business in Bulgaria and yet the persons in charge not doing the correct supervision are still there, not being fired or being apologetic, still collecting their salary. So why have these Authorities and for what?
• The Government in an effort to keep check to an extent the ever-rising rents, has introduced an incentive programme in order to increase supply and thus reduced by this the ill effects of the restricted supply. Notwithstanding the fact that we have wrote (next week from its publication) to the Ministry of the Interior that the incentives given were wrong and they will not reach the goal, we now have the admission by the Chairman of the Governmental Body regarding this development that the incentives did not work. So after almost one year from our observation and notwithstanding the so-called Advisor to the Republic, the Technical Chamber of Cyprus on the subject which participated to this wrong set up we are back to square one. What is the responsibility in terms of wrongdoing for all participants?
• Let’s come to the Passport issue which is taking a beating by the E.U. and by the local political parties, who in their effort to score a “Goal” against the Government is causing the Cyprus Investment Programme to run into big trouble regardless of its benefits. Yes, the programme has its failings, but it needs correction and not its practical abolition. This is an investment programme which earned Cyrus over €6 billion according to the E.U., saving from bankruptcy debtors, developers, financiers and providing much need jobs (side benefits apart). Will those beat the programme bear any responsibility, at the end?
• If now we are to investigate the football hooligans and corruption, this is an issue that has been going on for years. Yet even last week we had a new corruption incident, with the supervising football Authority doing absolutely nothing and even the hooligans seem to have the support of some MPs, to abolish the ID card for those attending (end result of the introduction of the ID is the sharp reduction of hooliganism in and outside the stadiums).
• If we are to turn our attention to our police quality and even worse the coroners, they are both a joke especially the last (we have to get coroners from abroad to get the truth – see the dog attack in Paphos, the serial killer on the Filipino women, the parking incident against a Russian lady at Larnaca town and so on).
Coming back to our wise MPs (for whom we have reported our strong disappointment in previous articles) this is all the worse. See sexual harassment and more recently the “holiday to Australia” by a group of MPs costing the State €150.000 and this for what (see also gifts given by foreign countries to our officials which they refuse to disclose and take the gifts home.
Etc., etc.

A country that aspires to become an international financial center and a first class holiday destination (see the case of a U.K. teenager girl who was convicted at Ayia Napa) these and numerous other incidents do not go unpublished in other countries. Just as well we have E.U. “supervision” to tell us off, but then we base our local income on real estate sales/development and we lure foreign buyers in particular to believe that we are a good country to live.

Mind you this sort of goings on happen to practically all other E.U. countries but ignoring the nowadays evident signs of conviction of officials the above are a cause for concern and correction.