By Angelos Anastasiou
The interior ministry blasted Paralimni mayor Theodoros Pyrillis on Tuesday over the Aphrodite’s Palace entertainment establishment which operated illegally over the summer in the Pernera area of the resort.
In a statement, the ministry referred to press reports suggesting that, while admitting that the establishment has been constructed illegally, Pyrillis considers the matter the responsibility of the Famagusta District Officer and the Land Registry department as it was built on state land.
“The Paralimni municipality never granted a building permit for this establishment,” he told daily Phileleftheros.
“On the contrary, once it became aware of the case, it duly advised the Famagusta District Officer – when anyone infringes on state land, the case is the jurisdiction of the District Officer and the Land Registry.”
Pyrillis was commenting on a letter he received from acting permanent undersecretary at the interior ministry Constantinos Nicolaides, deeming him “responsible for the lifting of all illegalities – essentially, the demolition of the establishment, the construction of which implies further illegalities which other agencies are called on to investigate.”
Nicolaides’ letter was copied to the Municipalities Union, the Ayia Napa Sewerage Board, the Attorney General’s office, the Auditor General, the Forestry department, the Famagusta Land and Registry Department, and the interior ministry’s internal audit team.
“I expect a full update of your actions,” Nicolaides signed off his letter.
“We brought the case to the District Officer and from that point on it was his responsibility,” Pyrillis insisted.
But Tuesday’s statement by the interior ministry took issue with Pyrillis’ view and placed responsibility squarely on his shoulders, accusing him of negligence.
“Following a story by Politis newspaper on December 3 relating to the construction and operation of an entertainment establishment named Aphrodite’s Palace, an investigation by the interior ministry found that the aforementioned establishment is completely illegal,” the statement said.
“The municipality’s primary responsibility emanates, clearly and indisputably, from relevant legislation, which renders it the competent authority for all structures constructed and operating within its municipal boundaries, without exception.
“Therefore, any ignorance of his legal responsibilities and obligations by the Paralimni mayor constitutes negligent execution of his duties, and all it entails. Certainly, this does not excuse other public authorities of their responsibilities and obligations with regard to this matter. As a result, the Paralimni municipality must act immediately within the responsibility placed upon it by relevant legislation.”