There is a Catch-22 when looking for a high paying job, especially in Limassol where exorbitant rents are a deterrent.
This leads to people having hesitations when considering a career move to a booming cosmopolitan city, especially those looking for jobs in non-Forex sectors.
Market forces determine inequality in the employment sector, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. However, in the absence of rent controls, the government has no policy on low-income households.
To appease public backlash as the Golden Passport saga spiraled out of control, the administration introduced a half-measure where part of the investment would go towards low-cost housing.
This clearly demonstrated the government’s weakness in determining the social consequences of the frenzy to sell luxury houses and apartments for exactly 2.5 million euros per unit (corresponding to one golden passport).
As generous as it may sound at first glance, this part of the citizenship by investment program has been a complete failure.
Builders did not seek to dedicate part of their new buildings to low-cost housing, with this measure being interpreted as “cheap” housing, meaning that a studio or one-bedroom apartment is being sold at a low price.
Who will be the beneficiary and who will determine this measure?
And how to make sure that affordable housing (aka affordable housing) is not rented at exorbitant prices due to high demand from students or young professionals?
Let’s say a teacher planning a career move to Limassol will think twice before accepting a job in a public or private school. The same applies to entry-level professors at community colleges and universities. All this explains the uneven deficit in some positions.
The same situation could develop in Paphos, where the Technical University of Cyprus (TEPAK) plans to open a school of tourism by September 2023, and the American University of Beirut is investing in a campus in the city center.
Landlords were thrilled that they could now raise rent and get away with it, justified by the laws of supply and demand.
However, the mayor of Paphos should consider striking a fair balance between encouraging investment in his city and not scaring off students and scientists who have been discouraged by greedy landlords.
To his credit, the mayor has done a great job rejuvenating the city’s commercial center and continues to clean up the mess that his predecessors endured for decades.
The decline of the center of Paphos is fueled by the inability of the civil service to address underlying issues such as the misuse of Turkish Cypriot property by non-beneficiaries, the lack of evictions and the blind eye by government officials. The government says we are on the path to a strong recovery but does not give the full picture; this is based on the traumatic impact of the pandemic on the economy and society at large. While encouraging all-round investment as a way to help the economy get back on track, we must not lose sight of the needs of the middle and lower working classes, many of whom are fighting for flat wages and see no real benefit from the trillions allegedly pouring into the public treasury.