Cyprus Mail

Community calls on president to intervene over proposed Paphos marina

The Poseidon plan for Paphos marina

Calls for the president to intervene over lengthy delays to the construction of a much-anticipated marina at Potima in Paphos are being made by the Kissonerga community council.
George Stylianou, muktahr of Kissonerga, told the Cyprus Mail that the local authority is calling on the president to personally intervene to ensure that the construction of the multimillion-euro facility can go ahead as quickly as possible.
“The continued delays mean that we can’t make any decisions concerning development projects and the upgrading of our beachfront area, as well as the construction of much needed breakwaters,” he said.
He added that the council is currently drafting a letter to be sent to the president next week.
In the latest development, the Poseidon consortium, whose bid was rejected in April, has launched an action against the administrative marine management committee.
Stylianou explained that the committee referred Poseidon’s bid to the attorney-general for his legal opinion.
“They had to provide documents for the project and the attorney- general found they weren’t sufficient, so they awarded the contract to Pafilia who were next on the list,” he said.
However, although Pafilia deposited all of the necessary documents in time, which also show they have sufficient funding for 60% of the project as required, no decision can be made until the court action by the Poseidon consortium is concluded, he said.
“The attorney- general has already given his opinion on this matter, and we shouldn’t have to wait again. Our opinion is that the authorities should proceed to the next tender bid on the list, which is Pafilia,” he said.
The Pafilia bid’s design will cost around €175 million euros, and the tender has gone through turbulent times due to the various recourses to the supreme court.
The tender for the project was first announced in 2007, and in 2008 it was initially awarded to the Cybarco-Pandora consortium, which includes the Leptos Group.
However, the other two bidding consortiums, Pafilia and Poseidon, a joint venture in which Aristo Developers is a major stakeholder, challenged the award at various stages. They claimed the winning developer used inside information to offer a lower figure for the construction of the marina.
The project was then frozen after litigation began in 2008.
In December 2015, the Supreme Court voted in favour of Poseidon and their €215m project. They then had to provide proof of funds – a total of 60 per cent of the amount, which was set at €125m.
However, after many months of negotiation, it was decided that Poseidon was unable to meet the financial criteria, and the project then passed on to Pafilia, the biggest developer in Cyprus.
Stylianou said that the local council is fed up with the delays and that asking for the same opinion for a second time will waste more time.
“This is holding us back. We want to start our plans for our beach and for the ten breakwaters in the sea, but these can’t be built until the marina has been constructed,” he said.
He said the council believes vested interests in the island’s three other marinas, and a state of ‘political cannibalism’ are creating long delays.
“People are afraid to take decisions and they want to be covered, everyone is accusing everyone, but if they can’t take decisions they should resign,” he said.
Stylianou stressed that it’s time for the president to take a stand and also for prospective presidential candidates to air their opinions on the issue ahead of the upcoming elections.
“Contracts should have been signed ten years ago and by now the economy would be reaping the benefits,” he said.

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