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Larnaca residents hit out at criticism over evicting energy giants

Citizens action groups representing residents of the Larnaca district have lambasted a member of the Oil and Gas Association for comments he made during a live radio show on Tuesday, regarding their municipal council’s recent decision to evict the gas logistics base from the town’s port.

In a statement, the groups referred to the member of the Oil and Gas Association – whom they did not name – who a day earlier, speaking on a radio show, called on the attorney-general to prosecute residents opposed to the hydrocarbons operations taking place out of the port of Larnaca.

He had urged the attorney-general to initiate criminal proceedings, on the grounds that these people are harming the country’s economy.

“This conduct,” read the citizens’ rebuttal, “is clearly part of the broader reaction caused by the democratic decision of Larnaca’s municipal council, which expresses the opposition of local society to transforming the port of Larnaca into a permanent support base for the energy industry.”

It added: “The invective and wrath of this person is an embarrassment to all democratically-cultured people in a modern state founded on the rule of law.”

The groups said Larnaca residents are well aware that, despite official proclamations, the intention all along was to keep energy companies permanently at the town’s port.

Any short-term extensions to the permit for the onshore logistics base were merely a smokescreen, they added.

According to the residents, two reports – one by the Ombudswoman, the other by the auditor-general – ascertain “the illegalities and irregularities carried out in the establishment of these heavy-industry facilities at the port two years ago.”

Larnaca municipality last week voted to reject a request to extend the permit for an onshore logistics base supporting the operations of Total and ENI.

In the wake of the decision, the government is now looking to relocate the facilities to the port of Limassol.

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