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Cyprus

Education minister wades into beer fest row

Education Minister Costas Kadis stepped in on Tuesday to resolve the beer festival crisis, saying he would not allow an event promoting alcohol to take place in school grounds.
Kadis’ statements refer to a dispute between the Nicosia municipality and event organisers Display Art, who for the last three years jointly organised the Nicosia Beer Festival at the Constanza moat.
The municipality decided to collaborate with a different company for the 2014 festival, claiming Display Art owner Savvas Nicoalou said that he lost money from the event last year and that he refused to contribute part of the proceedings to the municipality’s food bank.
Nicolaou rejected that claim, saying that he refused to increase ticket prices when asked by the municipality and suggested instead that they look for sponsors who would also make contributions to the food bank.
The two sides failed to reach a compromise, prompting Nicolaou to look for alternate venues. He settled for the Akadimia park in Aglandjia, adjacent to the Aglandjia High School.
While the Aglandjia District School Board initially gave the green light for the venue, the ministry unilaterally rescinded the decision and ordered the Board to decline Nicolaou’s request. The Board refused to cooperate and instead allowed Nicolaou to use the premises.
The Education ministry proceeded with blocking the request and Display Art took the matter to court, threatening the Education ministry with a lawsuit. Kadis agreed with letting the court have the last word on the subject, after taking advice from Legal Services.
Regardless of the outcome of the trial on the beer festival, Kadis said that Legal Services would be looking into whether School Board members committed a criminal offence by refusing to comply with ministry instructions.
The court hearing was postponed until August 27 and Nicolaou said that the judge assured all parties that he would have a ruling before the festival on September 5.
Meanwhile, the Nicosia Beer Fest, organised by the municipality, ETAP, CIIM and CK Matrix is due to take place between September 10 and 14 at the Constanza Moat.

 

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