LIOPETRI: They protested about the delay of works on the Liopetri River

What the Minister of the Interior says in his post

920E6256 7537 4891 B625 100704B0A107 exclusive, Development Projects, Liopetriou River

This morning, fishermen and restaurateurs operating on the Liopetriou River staged a protest event for the delay of the projects and for the loss of revenue, asking the authorities to "take their responsibilities" for the completion of the project.

In today's post, the Minister of the Interior stated that he has contacted those directly involved in the matter so that in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture the problems can be resolved.

Giannakis Gavriil, President of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, stated that "those that troubled us and we have discussed three times so far in the Committee on Agriculture, the urban planning project of the Liopetriou River, our concern has been verified. There are two and a half months left until the delivery of the project, you can see for yourself what is prevailing today."

Unfortunately, he added, "the schedules are not implemented despite the commitments of the contractor and the Department of Urban Planning, it remains to call the two competent Ministers of Agriculture and the Interior, to a meeting that must be held on the spot to see for themselves that the project is not progressing, to let everyone take their responsibilities and then let's see how the solution to the problem is set in motion, because now the restaurants, but more so the professional fishermen, will leave the profession and will not be able to be active again".

Mr. Gavriel noted that "this specific problem needs an immediate solution for the simple reason, it can't go any further. The project was supposed to be delivered in March 2023, with some excuses they gave an extension until November 2023, but you will also see that by November 2023 it is impossible to complete the project". "It is something that finds all of us MPs of the province of Famagusta directly against this current obstruction," he said.

When asked what are the reasons for this obstruction, Mr. Gavriël replied that "this should be answered by the authorities who assured us during the sessions of the Agriculture Committee that the schedules are being met and that the project will be completed and it will be delivered in November 2023 with the delays it had." He also stated that since the first day that the specific project started "we have been monitoring it at the Agriculture Committee, the assurances of the authorities seem not to be implemented".

"You can no longer expect the project to be completed by November 2023, but we want to solve the problem immediately. That is why we will invite the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of the Interior to an on-site meeting to resolve the problems," he said.

The Mayor of Liopetriou Vassos Manoli said in his statements that "we know that there is a delay, we will not blame the contractor, nor who is to blame".

"We want the project to be implemented as it started, with the schedule they said would finish by November 2023. As MP Giannakis Gavriil said, if you see the river, it won't end even in November 2024," he added.

We, continued Mr. Manolis, "want the project to proceed, the road network must be finished so that citizens and tourists can come to the two centers that exist in the area. The centers are closed because there is no normal way for people to come." "Because works are being done in the area, in order to come to the river one has to go around 5 kilometers for cars to come, so the first concern is to finish the road so that cars can come to the river," he said. He also said that "we want to see the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of the Interior, talk to them to take their responsibilities so that the project can go forward and be finished."

Christos Zannettou, Mayor of Ayia Napa, stated that "we see here in the Liopetriou river this delay in the completion of the project, which is a direct assignment from the state and there are responsibilities that must be assumed". He added that "this project deprives some of the right to exercise their profession, such as the approximately 30 families of professional fishermen and the amateur fishermen, and in addition to two restaurants that employ more than 50 people, that is, more than 50 families".

Mr. Zannetto also said that "this delay is not justified and we are not justified in an area like the river of Liopetriou, since we know that this project has been stagnant for the last two and a half years".

"The Liopetriou River is also a trademark for visitors from abroad. Our appeal and request is that the authorities should take the initiative to come to an agreement with the contractor and provide solutions for the completion of the project," he said. This must be done and it saddens me because we live in Cyprus and these phenomena must stop, decisions must be made. We are not a big country either, we are an island, a small country which unfortunately what is lacking in this province and in the community of Liopetriou is very important. Everyone must take their responsibilities."

Panagiotis Katsiaris, President of the fishermen of the Liopetriou River said that "it is with great regret and sadness that we are here today". Unfortunately, he added, "all timelines and promises have run out."

Mr. Katsiaris said that "we held repeated meetings. It is worth mentioning that we only went to the Agriculture Committee of the Parliament 3 times. We went to the former Ministers of the Interior and Agriculture, and even to an inter-ministerial committee last year in June. We were given some promises, unfortunately none of them materialized."

"The fishermen are all indignant, both those who are here and the others who were transferred to the other fishing shelters," he noted.

He referred to the great suffering they have been experiencing for the past two and a half years. "We are tired, we want the project to end. To assume their responsibilities where they exist and see what we can do again through an inter-ministerial meeting to advance the project and complete it," he said.

Another representative of the fishermen, Antonis Zambas, said for his part that "in June 2022 we visited the former Ministers of Agriculture and the Interior and asked them to finish the dock for us to tie up our boats, to clean the river to lift the boats because it was closed and to clean up the carnage so that we can take our boats out because we have dismantled them, we have dismantled our cars because we come to the river from old roads". "We received promises that by the end of 2022 the two other issues we raised would be out of the way," he said.

"Now we have July 2023, nothing has happened and we see to our regret that this project does not work as if it is stopped" he added. "Now we don't know who is to blame and who is not to blame. We see that in practice the work is not finished. The project is not finished this November, nor will it be finished next November at this rate," he noted.

Mr. Zambas went on to say that "we have nothing to do with anyone," adding that the contractor served them for some of the requests they made. "Indeed, he left us a section of the river to have our boats, we asked for the road and he pushed, even though it is dirt and we are somewhat comfortable," he said.

The bottom line is, he noted, "that we are suffering unimaginably and the work must be undertaken by the Ministers, the Government, the Department of Urban Planning, and a solution must be found".

Myrophora Masia, owner of a restaurant on the Liopetriou river, said that of the two restaurants located in the area, the one has been closed for a year, while hers, which has been operating for the last few months, is not making money.

"Customers are outraged they are canceling reservations, tourists are also desperate outraged they want to come and they keep asking me if the road has opened," he said. He added that "the road is dangerous because it is very slippery." "As the fishermen's representative said, we are desperate because a project worth so many millions, such as this project, should have been advanced to be handed over to us in November 2023," he continued. "I don't know who is to blame, if they don't give them money something must be done and let them take their responsibilities," he said.

Source: KYPE