The Cypriot government “too centralized”

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – Cyprus remains a “very centralized country” where local authorities are too dependent on state aid and the laws do not guarantee adequate funding to provide municipal services, according to a new report from the main European organization for the defense of human rights. Wednesday.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has stated that the sphere of responsibility of local governments over the eastern Mediterranean island nation “remains limited” by European standards.

The report also noted the absence of mechanisms that would allow the poorest communities to receive additional resources.

The authors of the report said officials from the Cypriot finance ministry acknowledged that many municipalities lack financial autonomy, cannot meet the needs of the population and face “considerable financial problems”.

The report notes that the Cypriot government has drawn up a “comprehensive reform of local government” which should ultimately be approved by parliament.

The reforms aim to strengthen local self-government, strengthen finances and merge all existing municipalities to reduce their number by about half.

The report also recommended that the principle of local self-government be enshrined in law, allowing municipalities to collect a larger share of local taxes and eliminating central government administrative controls over local authorities.

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