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Confusion over EU funding if Aglandjia plans change

CONFUSION on whether EU funds will be lost if plans are changed regarding the Aglandjia roadworks ensued during the House Environment Committee on Wednesday, as the government and local residents gave two contradictory answers apparently offered by the EU.

The case concerns a long-standing dispute over the Aglandjia roadworks introducing four roundabouts and increasing the roads to two lanes in each direction.

The most contested roundabout is the one at Akadimias park as it requires cutting down trees.

Committee chairman Adamos Adamou said the state maintains that the official response from the EU is that if any changes are made to the plan then funding is scrapped.

NGOs however argue that the answer they received is that there is no danger of funds being slashed if the plans change.

Adamou has thus asked both parties to submit the responses as evidence.

Members of the Initiative for Akadimia Park demonstrated outside parliament before the session began, later moving to the Nicosia public gardens and demonstrating outside the room where the committee was convening.

Placards bore the slogans “Aphrodite is angry”, “your developments, our oxygen”, “hands off our trees”.

“We do not create roads for cars, we create roads for people,” Adamou said.

Transport ministry permanent secretary Alecos Michaelides said 13 trees would be cut from Akadimias park for the roundabout and for the entire project, 93 trees would be chopped down however the public works department has committed itself to planting 350 trees and this was the best way forward.

Representatives of the public works department said the roundabout was important as 25,000 cars pass by Aglandjia avenue a day, and the number reaches 14,000 during peak hours.

Petroula Petrou, representing the Initiative for Akadimia Park said all those opposed to the creation of the roundabout have been nothing but an audience to what has happened with their views going unheard and unheeded.


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