The dif­fer­ence be­tween the­ory and re­al­ity

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Although I have been writ­ing for quite some time, the per­sis­tence of the re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments and var­i­ous govern­ment of­fi­cials and oth­ers on some is­sues and their in­abil­ity to sep­a­rate the­ory from tre­al­ity, will never cease to sur­prise us.

Old GSP: From the first day I had ex­pressed the view that the project was doomed. I pro­posed the op­tion of cre­at­ing a multi-use cen­tre just as in the Saripolou area in Li­mas­sol. Af­ter three ex­pen­sive stud­ies in­di­cated that the project is not vi­able, came a fourth with a ho­tel at­tached. I in­di­cated again that the ho­tel cost is not con­sis­tent with ex­pected rev­enues, while the ex­am­ples of the low oc­cu­pancy of the cap­i­tal’s ho­tels and the re­cent sale / ex­change of debt against a ho­tel in the cap­i­tal, is an in­di­ca­tion of the whole sit­u­a­tion.

Pub­lic Trans­port - Ni­cosia: It’s not enough that we sub­sidise pub­lic buses with mil­lions per year, some clever per­son sug­gested a tram for Ni­cosia. At a cost of EUR 216 mil­lion we spent thou­sands of euros on stud­ies af­ter stud­ies and even­tu­ally dis­cov­ered that the state does not have the EUR 216 mln. And cer­tainly not even the abil­ity to sub­sidise fur­ther losses, and so an in­vestor of this mag­ni­tude must be crazy to adopt the plan, that in­cluded the BOT (buil­d­op­er­ate-trans­fer) method.

Prime prop­er­ties: We have had stud­ies for prime govern­ment plots in Ni­cosia and else­where. We were told the ob­vi­ous (hav­ing paid a for­eign con­sul­tancy firm around EUR 250,000) to ‘cut’ up land into smaller plots to build a ho­tel in Ni­cosia (while the other ex­ist­ing ho­tels are crum­bling fi­nan­cially) and re­place the site of the new mu­seum (old hos­pi­tal) with a mall. God help us.

Pen­takomo tech park: Af­ter the tragedy with Bill Gates and hav­ing spent mil­lions on ex­pro­pri­a­tion, we have seen new stud­ies yet again for the estab­lish­ment of a Tech­nol­ogy Park. I as­sure you that there is no in­ter­est - sim­ply be­cause as the Cyprus sys­tem and pub­lic ser­vice we do not have the abil­ity to ap­ply those that we say, with some for­eign in­vestors in Cyprus even re­sort­ing to full-page ad­ver­tise­ments to protest the de­lays.

Govern­ment of­fices:

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very

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among jour­nal­ists and oth­ers un­re­lated to the prop­erty in­dus­try who re­fer to the cost of the payable rent with the con­clu­sion that it is bet­ter for the state to build its own of­fices rather than rent. And yet on three dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions I have ar­gued and proven hat rent­ing is ad­van­ta­geous when con­sid­er­ing phys­i­cal dam­age to build­ings, the prop­erty tax, main­te­nance and in­come tax and of course the re­turn on in­vest­ment cap­i­tal.

Aka­mas: Af­ter 27 years of spe­cific ref­er­ences that the ex­ist­ing pol­icy (as it evolves) can­not be ap­plied since, thank­fully, we have ex­ceeded the level of ex­pro­pri­a­tion and com­pen­sa­tion from the times of when Mr. Si­liki­o­tis was Min­is­ter of In­te­rior, we are back at zero and start­ing from the be­gin­ning. The Park has many pa­ram­e­ters some of which reach the level of stu­pid­ity.

Casino: Here we go again. Our wise par­lia­ment (the ones who said the heroic NO dur­ing the 2013 hair­cut on de­posits) voted a law that for­bids the State from rent­ing even a square me­tre for a casino. Of the three aspir­ing fi­nal­ist bid­ders (from the orig­i­nal 12) only one re­mained, the only one that was able to se­cure land at a “rea­son­able price” re­sult­ing in the state be­ing in a very weak bar­gain­ing po­si­tion when it comes to the li­cens­ing cost. So in­stead of the state hav­ing the op­tion of land rental to the se­lected bid­der, it has passed on this right to in­di­vid­u­als (I do not know what in­ter­ests there may be, but the temp­ta­tion is huge).

Lar­naca Port: We will be stuck with this one as well, with a new study now un­der­way to find in­ter­ested in­vestors. I as­sure you there is zero prospects, de­spite the fact that the Min­is­ter of Trans­port has re­ported some se­ri­ous in­ter­est. The prob­lem here are the peo­ple of Lar­naca them­selves.

Paphos ma­rina: Do you re­mem­ber the soap opera Pey­ton Place? We are about half­way there with an­tic­i­pated de­vel­op­ments, while the vi­a­bil­ity of the project is also in doubt.

Our dear read­ers should be able to dis­tin­guish from the be­gin­ning what is pos­si­ble and that our size does not al­low us to be choosy when it comes to at­tract­ing (and keep­ing) for­eign in­vestors.

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