Paralimni Mayor Theodoros Pyrillis defended on Friday the right of his municipality to carry out earthworks on beaches within its jurisdiction, which he said aim to provide unhindered public access.
Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC radio, Pyrillis, who came under fire once more after photos and videos circulated on social media of bulldozers on the areas beaches, said that everything is being done according to the law.
Pyrillis was responding to an announcement on Thursday by the interior ministry that it had reported Paralimni municipality to the police for unauthorised earthworks on Skoutari and Konnos beaches, and that legal measures would follow.
“All the works we carry out are legal,” Pyrillis said. He added that the municipality had been assured of this by its legal advisors.
“Whoever thinks differently can take us to court and there we will see who will be vindicated,” he said.
Pyrillis said that the works were necessary to remove debris from the beaches dumped there during the construction two hotels.
He added that when the hotels were being constructed, the material dug up was dumped at the beach.
“Paralimni Municipality is now clearing all that,” Pyrillis said.
He added that the hotels had taken over large pieces of state land and obstructed access from one side of the beach to the other, thus violating the basic principle of the law on the protection of beaches.
“Anyone today can walk along the entire beach front of Paralimni, from the buffer zone to Cape Greco. This was our goal,” Pyrillis said.
He added that the municipal council is very proud of its decisions.
“We are not lenient with anyone, whoever breaks the law, we put them in their place,” he said.
Pyrillis said a war broke out on social media to bully Paralimni municipality, but that the municipal council unanimously decided recently to continue its actions towards their goal.
The mayor came under fire in 2016 following intervention at Sirena Bay in Protaras. The Greens and other conservationists had said at the time that the intervention had resulted in the destruction of the natural vegetation at the beach. Pyrillis had said then that the works were needed for the safety of bathers.