Are we there yet?
E DII TO RII A L
Government officials have once again embarked on a campaign to persuade Joe Public that the targets pledged some three and half years ago have or are being implemented.
Perhaps the upcoming municipal elections – where the junior entrants in parliament are expected to score an equally impressive result, if not better – has prompted the ruling party and the government to show its better side, not realising that apart from major achievements at the Finance and Transport Ministries, not much else of significance has been achieved.
Quite the contrary, judging from the last-minute concessions afforded ( once again) to public sector teachers, as well as the slowdown in reforms in the health sector, it is clear that the present administration is taking its time in implementing what it promised. Could it be that, similar to US administrations that are re-elected, the Anastasiades government too plans to implement most of its promises in a second term?
Though the essence of most of the reforms would find us in agreement, it is the painstaking delay in their i mplementation that is frustrating people, especially the taxpayer.
Reforms should have been proposed, debated quickly and implemented immediately. Instead, we are seeing some measures already in their third year and yet with no result.
Telco Cyta, that should have been the first to be privatised, is still dragging its feet. Now we hear that the split of EAC into a provider and network owner could begin by the end of the year (strikes allowing). The privatisation of the ports has finally gone ahead, and even that has been called a ‘management’ liberalization, while the autonomy of hospitals and the introduction of the national health service, could go on or ever.
One of the pledges President Anastasiades made in his election platform was that he would introduce six deputy ministers in order to i mprove the efficiency of the Cabinet and streamline the government machine. We have seen anything but that, with union bullying pushing this administration into a corner, as a result of which we are talking about a broad scale reform, where nothing of essence will be achieved.
It is too bad that the ‘pro business’ administration has turned into a ‘keep the unions happy’ formation and is disregarding the needs of the general public that wants to get rid of mentalities of the past and move forward. It seems politicians are happy the way they are.