They should ALL re­sign in Paphos

E DII TO RII A L

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

As Paphos gets ready to elect a new mayor on Jan­uary 11, the town’s folk are ex­hibit­ing a twisted sense of democ­racy and trans­parency. The ques­tion on every­body’s mind that no cit­i­zen or po­lit­i­cal party dares ask openly – for fear of find­ing skele­tons in their own closet – is, if the ex-Mayor and the head of the sew­er­age board were crooks, as al­leged in court doc­u­ments, did no­body else get a whiff of the stink go­ing around? And if they did, why didn’t they do any­thing about it?

Ini­tially, there were only three sus­pects, and a fourth one was added last week. By the time the in­ves­ti­ga­tion gets into full swing, it is not im­pos­si­ble that many more names will come out into the fore from among city hall’s pyra­mid of power, as well as elected of­fi­cials and mu­nic­i­pal coun­cilors, from all par­ties.

We are sure that nowhere in the min­utes of mu­nic­i­pal meet­ings of the past decade or so is there any men­tion of a coun­cilor rais­ing sus­pi­cion about cor­rup­tion, with­out nec­es­sar­ily nam­ing the chief sus­pect, the for­mer Mayor him­self. This, in ef­fect, points to a wide-reach­ing cover up, each with his own lit­tle agenda or bone to pick. This is why the ex-Mayor has de­cided to spill the beans and take every­body down with him, in­clud­ing of­fi­cials from his own DIKO party, of whom he had ex­pected some support in re­turn for re­cent loy­al­ties, but was left hang­ing out to dry.

The rul­ing DISY party has in­di­rectly ac­knowl­edged its own tol­er­ance of the go­ings on in Paphos by desperately try­ing to avoid an elec­tion de­feat by se­cur­ing a common can­di­date of pub­lic stature. The fact that no one has been named so far sug­gests that there aren’t that many peo­ple left who do not have their hands in the cookie jar. All the oth­ers are foot­ing their own can­di­dates, but no one has sug­gested that all mu­nic­i­pal coun­cilors re­sign as well, at least to show that they have a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity and a shred of sym­pa­thy to­wards or­di­nary cit­i­zens who are sick of the cor­rupt es­tab­lish­ment.

But the big­gest of all blames goes to the cit­i­zens of Paphos them­selves, many of whom have been all too happy to be pho­tographed with Sav­vas Ver­gas re­ceiv­ing a cheque or a prize, or even priv­i­leged seat­ing at a con­cert or the Paphos Opera. No one ever likes to rock the boat.

Do the peo­ple of Paphos hon­estly be­lieve that by elect­ing just a new mayor, ev­ery­thing will be re­solved? That by sweep­ing all the town’s ills un­der the car­pet, they will get a fully func­tion­ing sew­er­age net­work up and run­ning within 24 hours of the elec­tions?

If the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cilors do not have the de­cency to re­sign and try to get re-elected, then the cit­i­zens have an equal re­spon­si­bil­ity to boot them out of of­fice. Oth­er­wise, it shows that they are all up their necks in the filth that has blem­ished the town.

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