By Peter Stevenson
AYIA Napa Municipality signed a deal at the water development department yesterday in Nicosia where it pledged to pay back in full the €12m it owes.
The town’s mayor Yiannis Karousos told the Cyprus News Agency that the municipality had an invoice of €12m in its possession.
“Today we have signed an agreement with the water development department which will see us pay at least €700,000 back a year at the start of 2014 until the whole amount is repaid,” he said.
Karousos added that the municipality would pay-off its water bills for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and depending on its finances it could increase the amount of €700,000 it will pay off each year and their account could be settled earlier than expected.
“Ayia Napa has agreed to pay off the bill so that we do not owe the state anymore money,” he said, adding “we have paid our dues and we expect the government to help out in the development of Ayia Napa and the wider area”.
Karousos yesterday also inaugurated the municipality’s new area for civil weddings near Cavo Greco as he carried out a ceremony for a Russian couple.
“For a wedding to take place at Cavo Greco, the municipality received permission from the forestry department and part of that deal was that only ten weddings would take place here a year,” the Mayor said.
He added that in its efforts to improve tourism in the area, the municipality had increased the number of locations where civil marriage ceremonies can be carried out.
Between 20 and 30 tourists, members of the family and friends usually attend a wedding ceremony, which financially help various local businesses.
“The first wedding will soon take place in the area of the ‘Aoratos’ tree which has been recorded as the most photographed tree in the world,” Karousos said.
The Mayor added that there has been a decrease in the demand for civil and religious weddings in the area due to it being 2013, an unlucky year for some.
“Despite the decrease in demand, due to the new wedding areas our income is roughly the same and has reach around €500,000 this year,” he said.
Ayia Napa offers a complete tourist experience and Karousos added that he hoped visitors would have an unforgettable experience.