I wonder if the authorities are ready to fulfill their duties for the benefit of Cyprus and its people. The examples I often give are by no means a complete list of oddities; there are other numerous and shocking events.
I will talk about some of them in which we participated, based on my own experience.
Let’s start with the most shocking experience, the municipality of Paralimni.
According to the mayor, the municipality has received a license from the government to use the public section of the beach in the coastal protection zone (which means that nothing can be built on it) for its own use as a kiosk.
What is a kiosk, as we all know, it is a small building for selling newspapers, maybe ice cream and juices. The municipality has properly subleased the site and the new subtenant, provided the equipment for the grill bar, and advertises the establishment as such, including signs for the sale of food, alcoholic beverages, and a sign that the establishment was properly licensed and with all available permits documents.
We know this was far from the case (it doesn’t have a building license at all and none from the Tourist Board), with the latter telling us that the establishment was operating illegally. In this regard, we filed a complaint with the municipality, the district office, the Ministry of Commerce, the Auditor General and the Ombudsman.
Lack of Responsibility
While the district officer replied that he could not interfere because he was not the body responsible for issuing building permits, he added that he wrote to the mayor, who did not even bother to reply. As a result, the snack bar is still in place. So far, no action from either the self-nominated Auditor General or any of the others we have complained to, even though the Auditor General said, “We’ll call you back.”
The Municipality of Paralimni is currently under investigation by the Auditor General and we are also awaiting a response from the Land Office whether this site (and others) has indeed been leased.
So why do we have these authorities who cannot or do not want to fulfill their duties?
Then there is the government, which, in an effort to control ever-increasing rents, has introduced a stimulus program to increase supply and thus reduce the detrimental effects of limited supply.
We wrote to the Interior Ministry that the incentives were wrong and they would not achieve the desired goal, and now we have a confession from the chairman of the state body involved in this development, confirming that the incentives did not work.
So, after almost two years of our observation and in spite of the so-called adviser of the Republic (Cyprus Technical Chamber) on this issue, we are back to square one.
If we look at football hooligans and corruption, this is a problem that has been around for many years. However, last year we even had a new corruption incident where the football supervising body did absolutely nothing. Even the hooligans seem to have the support of some MPs to revoke the ID cards for those attending the games in order to maintain control. A country that aspires to become an international financial center and a first-class holiday destination, these and many other cases do not go unpublished in other countries.
Likewise, we have EU ‘surveillance’ to chastise us, but then we base our local income on real estate sales/construction and we lure foreign buyers in particular into believing we are a good country to live in.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Consultants