President Nicos Anastasiades came under fire from opposition parties on Saturday after he called for an end to the ‘tyranny of the civil service kingdoms’ and urged parliament to pass a package of reform bills as quickly as possible.
He made his comments at the opening of the Art Nest sculpture museum created by Limassol-based artist, Filippos Yiapanis in Fasoula on Friday night. Yiapanis had criticised the red tape and indifference he had to overcome from the education and culture ministry.
Anastasiades, who had attended the opening of the museum, said that Yiapanis’ criticism was sending a strong message to the government.
He said he agreed with Yiapanis’ comments because he too shared the same attitudes.
“I wish and hope that, in consultation with the political powers, it will be finally made possible for the bills on modernising the civil service that are before the House, to be adopted to stop the tyranny that the civil service kingdoms are exerting over the citizens,” Anastasiades said.
A series of government bills aiming to reform the civil service were rejected by MPs in 2016. The government then launched a new round of consultations with political parties to garner more support that would lead to approval of the bills by the legislative.
The bills seek to end the clientelism and introduce changes that reward performance and increase productivity and efficiency in the public service.
Striking back on Saturday, Akel’s Christos Christofides said that Anastasiades spoke as if he were not the person governing the country the past six years.
Christofides said that it is Anastasiades and his administration that bear responsibility for the existing weaknesses and shortcomings in the civil service.
He said that if Anastasiades an dhis government believe all problems would be solved by the proposed reform bills “they are out in touch with reality.”
“They are not aware of the real problems, nor are they willing to solve them,” he said. “It means they continue to have the distorted neo-liberal approach that adds rather than solves problems.”