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Cyprus

Larnaca marina invites input from yacht owners

THE management of the Larnaca marina has invited yacht owners to share their views on how the facility can be improved and expanded.

A meeting with the some 400 vessel owners has been set for this Friday.

The marina is run by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).

Plans to develop the port of Larnaca and expand the marina recently fell by the wayside after the government refused to grant a local consortium more time to secure financing.

Reportedly costing €700m, the mooted project would have allowed investors to privatise the Larnaca port with infrastructure works including a new passenger terminal and develop the marina for private yachts.

Designed to boost revenues for Larnaca and the CTO, the project now appears to be stuck as no other investors have come forward.

The grand plan had envisaged a marina with a 500-berth capacity initially, later expanding to 1,000 berths.

For years vessel owners have been complaining about the lack of berth space, leading to intense competition and at times dodgy practices.

Christos Petrides, manager of the Larnaca marina, conceded that in the past an employee had taken bribes in return for granting vessel owners better berth spaces.

The matter was brought to management’s attention after yacht owners complained in writing.

But Petrides told daily Politis that this case dates to before 2010, that the employee in question no longer works there, and that such abuses no longer take place.

The lack of space for ‘regular’ vessels has not been addressed by the opening of Limassol’s marina, which caters to luxury super-yachts. And plans to build marinas in Ayia Napa and Protaras have been bogged down by delays.

Ayia Napa’s mayor has said that a foreign investor is standing by to pour in €250m. The project there – which provides for 600 berths, holiday homes and apartments – would create 800 construction jobs and generate about €1bn in revenues for the government in the long term.

Development of the Protaras marina is billed at some €100m.

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