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Cyprus

Transport minister grilled by MPs over Paphos delays

TRANSPORT Minister Marios Demetraides was grilled by deputies and Paphos officials yesterday over delays in the upgrading of the harbours in Kato Paphos and Latchi.

Demetriades who attended the House Communications Committee, said no decision would be taken on the creation of a wharf at Kato Paphos until a feasibility study was completed in April. The creation of a wharf is a proposal to help boost cruise tourism to the western coastal town.

The study is expected to show the cost of construction and potential revenue.

“We expect the results by the end of April and then we will evaluate how to proceed,” the minister said, adding that the government agreed it was important to increase the cruise and tourism revenues in Paphos, which has been hard-hit by the financial crisis.

Regarding the harbour at Latchi, deputies heard that difficulties with proceeding with new infrastructure were due to some confusion over who was in charge.

The infrastructure came under the Cyprus Ports Authority, and the management under the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the fisheries department.

Demetriades said he intended to submit a proposal to the cabinet in the first half of the year to end this confusion.

DISY MP Andreas Michaelides said that Paphos district projects “go from postponement to postponement”. He questioned how long could possibly be needed to take a decision.

AKEL’s Andreas Fakontis said last year Paphos managed to attract eight cruise ships but said interest was much greater.

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