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Local issues barely on agenda

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With the municipal and Europarliament elections just six months away, the knives are out, targeting incumbents over their incompetence during the past term.

The six Euro MPs from Cyprus have undoubtedly been busy, with a full agenda ranging from human rights and health, to politics and energy.

Yet, the same traditional political parties that support the deputies in the European parliament, are indifferent to what goes on at home, and literally in their back yard.

The bickering and bargaining has already started, as if electing a party-faithful mayor or municipal councillors will in any way improve the livelihood of citizens. Some towns, such as Strovolos, are in a worse state and have filthier roads than some third world countries.

New pavements and fresh asphalt is a rarity, while Paphos, recently endowed with three universities, is constantly improving, both in infrastructure and hi-tech services. A town where everyone wants to move to.

Larnaca managed to get some road works done in the past few years. But with the delay in dismantling the gas and fuel storage facilities, as well as obstacles in getting the new marina off the ground, the city of Kition will remain the poor relative for quite some time.

Limassol, troubled with and undisciplined property market, where greed is tolerated and rents have gone through the roof, will see the first major battle for mayor, not on election day, but the haggling weeks and months in advance, with political parties and wannabes fighting to find the right names.

The greater and to-be merged Nicosia will be an interesting battle ground, where the ruling coalition parties and the allegedly opposition Disy, will be supporting a veteran politician for the divided capital’s town hall, while the leftist Akel is seriously considering a moderate and young candidate, hailing from the right of centre camp.

Whatever the plans and whoever the candidates, there will be a lot of disappointments and many who will be left out. In which case the new posts of district czars will come in hand, who will oversee the mayors. Yet, it is still unclear why we need this position in the first place, at a time when each region already has a District Officer.

Perhaps political parties should quit focusing on their candidates and hopes for survival, and instead look at the local needs of citizens, from better services and a cleaner environment, to resolving mobility issues and adapting to new technologies.