President: We will proceed with changes in local government reform if needed

The government will implement the local government reform and will not hesitate to proceed with changes based on the challenges that will arise, President Nikos Christodoulides has said.

In statements to the press and replying to a remark that the Government is under fire from the opposition on the issue of local government reform, the President said: "We will implement what was voted by the House of Representatives and yes, based on the challenges that will arise, we will not hesitate to proceed with changes. We are here to address the difficult issues."

President Christodoulides also said that as we approach the local elections that will be held in June, on the same day with the European elections, "we must all be very careful, especially the government, not to enter into approaches or discussions that at the end of the day aim to serve two goals: personal and party expediencies".

Asked if in fact there is an issue for the sustainability of municipalities, the President replied: "Of course; do you think it is right - and the Parliament voted for this, not the current Government - that in some areas there should be so many Deputy Mayors, for example? The Parliament voted for this. And we, yes, have the courage publicly (to express our position)", he said.

He added that "we tried to make changes before we got here but there was no positive response from the Parliament. So, we are moving forward with the implementation of an important reform and there must be no misunderstanding this reform had to be done".

He noted that it would be clearly better if there were much fewer municipalities saying that "we will implement it (the local government reform), we will evaluate it and for any changes that are needed we have the courage to table them before the Parliament".

(Source: CNA, Photo: PIO)

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