Are we there yet?


Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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