The challenges of 2022 – Article by Valentinos Fakontis –AKEL – Left – New Forces MP for the district of Pafos
Saturday 15 January 2022, ‘Haravgi’ newspaper
Every New Year brings something new to our lives, it brings the hope that we all share for something better. We all have the need to see the future in a different way and the beginning of the year is a good opportunity to assess how we want 2022 to go.
Firstly, the pandemic. Without doubt it is currently a global and certainly a Cypriot threat. We are all anxious about when the scientific community will find the final solution with a drug that will confront it once and for all. Until then, the ways of confronting it are known and we all know them. As a citizen who has been through the experience of the disease, I say to everyone that it is very important to follow the guidelines issued by science and scientists, because there is no other way out of the vicious circle of the pandemic. At the same time, we must praise the superhuman efforts of the medical and nursing staff in these very difficult conditions.
Secondly, every development in 2022 confirms once again that the digital world is with us in our daily life. From work and transport, from schools to our personal communication. The digital world has arrived and will stay, therefore it is of great importance to make use of it in such a way so as Cypriot society can find faster and simpler solutions.
Of course, this goal can’t be achieved with empty talk or by issuing general vague declarations. It can only be achieved through the approval of major political decisions and the use of experts with the relevant specialisation. Cyprus has lost valuable time in its digital transformation and now needs to move fast so that it can catch up. This progress concerns the whole of Cyprus, and will make life easier for everyone, but also concerns in particular the most remote areas from the centre, such as the district of Pafos.
“Digital Pafos” is the answer to the current problems that are associated with bureaucracy and the inconvenience our fellow citizens face. But it is all a digital package: a focus on the digital transformation of Cyprus so that we can all work together on a new basis.
Thirdly, 2022 can and should be the year of the final adoption and implementation of the new Local Government Charter. Reform is necessary and we all agree that our country needs it. The merging of Municipalities, the synergies between neighbouring Municipalities and Local communities, the exploitation of the expertise that one Municipality has from another, will only bring benefits to our country. Delays only serve to devalue the policy and fail to solve problems. Local government needs a new lease of life, because key issues relating to everyday life, such as sustainable development, public transport, the circular economy and the creation and use of infrastructures at local level to promote people’s quality of life, will be given a new basis. We must work tirelessly to ensure that the draft bill takes form and shape in a practical sense as soon as possible.
2022 comes with difficulties and challenges. Whatever depends on our own will and determination, we need to assert it and put it into practice.
This is how we best serve our Cyprus.