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Municipalities in plea for state help

Cash-strapped municipalities are appealing for state help to bolster finances battered by the coronavirus crisis, Demetra Landou reports for Phileleftheros.

Larnaca mayor and president of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities Andreas Vyras said that revenue has plummeted with some municipalities finding it difficult to cover wages.

For example, Larnaca Municipality would normally have collected €1.5 m in revenue in April, but ended up with only €150,000. Revenue would normally come from parking, operating licences, tax, renting of pavements, but no one is paying, he said.

Municipalities are trying to offer discounts to companies but these would depend on how much help is offered by the state.

“It is easy to say we will give incentives and facilities. But who will cover the expenses of the municipalities,” he queried.

Revenue will remain low because of the drop in tourism.

“As Larnaca Municipality we collect €600,000 from beaches and now we estimate €400,000. Overall I anticipate a 30% reduction in our revenue as a best case scenario.”

Municipalities do not have access to loans or other sources of revenue while spending is fixed.

“The municipalities need help. Businesses are in special schemes. We are not allowed. We are in dire economic straits,” he said.

 

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