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Nicosia municipality and contractors settle Eleftheria Square dispute

Nicosia Municipality and contractors Miltiades Neophytou announced on Monday that an amicable settlement head been reached in a contractual dispute over the Eleftheria Square project.

Last November Miltiadis Neophytou, demanded €3 million and a 552 days extension to complete the project, according to reports at the time.

The reports suggested that the contactor blamed the municipality for delays.

The revamped Eleftheria’s Square was supposed to be completed by March 2013 but the contractor now estimates that it will be finished by September 2014.

In Monday’s joint statement the municipality said it had agreed to pay the company € 530.000 as a settlement for work performed and for cancelling the contract.

“The framework for cooperation of the various parties, as it stood on principle, did not pave the way for the smooth execution of the project, resulting in increasing disputes and claims which caused delays and legal issues,” said the statement.

By signing the agreement, Miltiades Neophytou agreed to withdraw all  lawsuits and settle all claims, the statement added. “At the same time, recognising the need to execute the project without further delay, the company will give the site offices over for use by the new contractor and the project architect, and the outer fence of the project will remain in possession of the Nicosia municipality until completion,” the statement said.

The municipality said it had taken the decision to settle bearing in mind the lengthy and unpredictable outcome of dragging the procedure through the courts. This would lead to a loss of funding and delay the project even further.

“The municipality believes this solution is the only way forward.”

It said that the General Directorate for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, and other involved parties, as well as the  Office of the Auditor General and the Office of the Accountant General had been kept informed of the developments.

“The implementation of this important project in the capital remains a top priority for the municipality, which will go directly into the process of reopening tenders for the award of the contract so that it can completed within the timeframes laid down in the financing agreement,” said the municipality. A plan would be ready within days, it added.

 

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