Mağusa is ‘not go­ing bank­rupt’

Cyprus Today - - NEWS -

GAZİMAĞUSA Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is “not go­ing bank­rupt”, Mayor İs­mail Arter has said.

He hit out at claims that the coun­cil was drown­ing in debt, dur­ing a con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Mağusa Walled City As­so­ci­a­tion (Mas-Der) last Satur­day.

“Since I came to of­fice [in 2014] there have been 18 state­ments aimed at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity [by the local branch of the Repub­li­can Turk­ish Party] and 12 of these have claimed that [it] is on the verge of go­ing un­der,” he said.

“At the end of the day, would I want a bomb to go off in my hands when I have worked so hard [for the coun­cil]?”

He said the ac­cu­sa­tions of fi­nan­cial dire straits were part of a “po­lit­i­cal ar­gu­ment” against him.

Mr Arter used the Mas-Der event to high­light a num­ber of schemes that he said he had ini­ti­ated to pre­serve the rich his­tory and ar­chi­tec­ture of the walled city, in­clud­ing one that had “been on the shelf for 10 years”.

A four mil­lion TL project to land­scape the town’s de­fen­sive moat, partly funded by Turkey and that had should have been com­pleted last Au­gust, will be fin­ished “by the end of this month”, added.

He said he had done “all he could” to im­prove the walled city but that gov­ern­ment de­part­ments also needed to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Mr Arter’s com­ments came just days af­ter staff at Ye­nierenköy Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­turned to work af­ter be­ing paid for the first time in months.

Their jobs still re­main un­der threat, he how­ever, with min­is­ters con­sid­er­ing merg­ing Ye­nierenköy Mu­nic­i­pal­ity with the local author­ity in Dip­karpaz.

Esen­tepe and Lapta ad­min­is­tra­tions were also claimed last week to be at risk of “clo­sure” by the gov­ern­ment.

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