You cannot be serious?
I cannot stop wondering if, as a country, we have our heads placed correctly on our shoulders. Being isolated islanders and with more than our fair share of attention (be it good or bad) and having been spoiled with money (up to recently), I do not feel that our thinking, as a country, is rational based on the big opinion that we have for ourselves.
Politicians, in an effort to please voters, are no better (regarding their big headedness) and we have all sorts of grandiose schemes proposed which are not possible to accomplish.
Nicosia’s old football stadium (GSP):
We must have spent over EUR 1 mln in studies so far. No one was interested and now a new proposal is offered as an incentive to a would-be investor, to allow a hotel development. Are we serious? In Nicosia where the hotels are struggling, and one has just been taken over by a bank. We propose to build a new one? Are we serious?
Notwithstanding that we subsidise the public bus service by over EUR 30 mln p.a. and notwithstanding that other than the foreign workers and retirees use the service for free (otherwise they are empty), we have spent over EUR 200,000 in research to have a
The Nicosia tram:
Nicosia tram service. But with an investment cost of EUR 216 mln (as the government estimates) who has this sort of money to invest in such financially losing transport? It will be a B.T.O., project we were told – are we serious?
The prime real estate plots which belong to the government (locally known as the “fillet” of real estate) has been examined by foreign consultants at a cost of over EUR 200,000 who came up to tell us what? That we should build a hotel in Nicosia (disaster), to abolish the proposed national Museum site and in its place to build a mall (another one is now under construction), to divide the various beach and other plots of land into building plots (over supply existing) and that office buildings should be developed in some areas (over supply) in Nicosia’s centre. Are we serious?
Prime Real Estate:
What a fiasco to develop a technological park where international high-tech firms will be queueing to develop. After Bill Gates got interested and because of the inexcusable delays, he ended up in Malta. We are just not up to it, to fight our red tape, the civil service and our own attitude. We spend several years in studying and studying, again spend millions in compulsory acquisition and infrastructure and we are now looking at empty land.
After studies and studies to attract the prospective investor for over EUR 0.5 bln, we seem to be reaching the end (limited interest) but over the last 10 years we were quarrelling amongst ourselves over how much more we could demand from the possible investor (prime reason of failure are the Larnaca people themselves – they just do not know what they want). We are not serious.
The disappointment of the various multi-million projects proposed by foreign investors - ranging from the Yeroskipou one, to another three in Larnaca, as well as rehabilitation centers - proposals are all on hold. All waiting for answers from the public service like nothing is urgent.
The Troodos properties:
Studies and more studies again. Save the government houses at Troodos (in a derelict state), the installation of a teleferic (cable car), the management of the camp sites etc (all rundown) we believe that investors will throw their money away. Save the aged houses which have some potential value, the rest is just theory. We are not serious.
The Akamas Park:
After 30 years and having spent over EUR 500,000 in studies, we are back to square one – i.e. yet another study for a cost of EUR 2 mln restricting the park only within the government owned land. As it was proposed 27 years ago by ourselves.
Rent or Build – Governmental offices:
Again, a lot of talk for nothing. It simply pays to rent government buildings as opposed to the government building its own. Simple arithmetic shows that government buildings should be hired from the private sector and not developed. Full report provided 8 years ago and repeated yearly.
Others: The list is endless, and this column does not have enough space. The examples given proves that our big heads just cannot comprehend the realities of life to accommodate “imaginative” proposals/projects, self-interests and backhanded deals in addition.