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Andreas Vyras: Weakness and priority of Larnaca; local government reform

Andreas Vyras: Weakness and priority of Larnaca; local government reform


Weakness and Priority

What weaknesses do you think need to be improved immediately?

There are many problems in the city that need to be addressed. However, their decision is always linked to the financial possibilities within the budget of the municipality. For this reason, the priority of issues is determined by necessity, as well as facilitating the daily life of a citizen. If I had to single out one of them, it would be the Palm Coastal Front upgrade.

This façade has always been the liveliest part of the city for both Larnaca and visitors, which has been strengthened by its merger with Piale Pasha Street. So the modernization of this front, which is identified with our city, is certainly a weakness, but also a priority.

Do you think that the presence of the largest airport in Cyprus in your city could be used in the future?

Undoubtedly, Larnaca Airport, as the largest airport on the island, is Larnaca’s comparative advantage. The city receives millions of visitors every year. Our goal is not just a passage, but a destination. At the same time, Larnaca International Airport has some impacts, such as noise and environmental issues.

These are, however, problems that can be solved with the good will of the participants and cannot be compared with the positive results of the airport.

Turkish Cypriot quarter

What are your plans for the Turkish Cypriot quarter of the city?

The Turkish Cypriot quarter is one of the most important areas in the center of the old city, which still retains its character.To further promote it, the Municipality of Larnaca, in cooperation with RTD Larnaca, continued the improvement activities. In the area, where nine artists currently work, including sculptors, ceramic artists and artists who want to strengthen its identity and sustainability, and increase the number of visits, we have added urban equipment.

Benches, buckets, flower pots, handmade ceramic street signs and outdoor art were installed by artists working in the area. At key points, signs with an informative map of the laboratories were also added. These improvements were made with the support of the Ministry of Tourism.

Can we expect more update action?

The first moderate aesthetic improvements I have mentioned are the start of larger planned projects, namely the creation of the Mediterranean Artists’ Park in the area in question and the paving of the adjacent streets. For these projects, relevant research contracts have recently been signed. The replacement of the ugly signage of the premises in Piale Pasha has also been completed, and a study is underway to aesthetically renovate the facades of the buildings in this street in order to give the square a better image.

It is noted that the District of Artists and the workshops of the area are also presented in a virtual 360 ° tour as part of the Larnaca Cultural Walk.

Local government reform

How will local government reform affect your city?

The reform of local self-government is focused on improving the quality of life of citizens. The goal is to provide the best service at the lowest possible cost. Let’s not forget that local self-government is an institution of direct democracy and knows its needs better than anyone else. With the current structure, we are often unable to effectively respond to these needs.

Thanks to the reform, local governments will receive expanded powers, as well as economic and administrative autonomy to develop effective policies for the local community in an environment of greater transparency and meritocracy. Despite some shortcomings of the new legislation, it is clear that we have begun a new period of improved and strengthened local self-government, closer to the standards of the European Charter of Local Self-Government of the Council of Europe.

In this way, the newly strengthened municipality of Larnaca, which will include the municipality of Livadia and the community council of Voroklini as municipal districts, will be able to form more flexible and efficient policies for the benefit of its citizens.

Mayor of Larnaca Andreas Viras

Source and photo: www., Editor

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