Priests from a nearby monastery and residents of Pyrgos and Kornos held a peaceful demonstration outside the presidential palace on Sunday against a decision by the state to allow the operation of an asphalt plant in Stavrovouni.
The demonstrators closed the road outside the palace before handing over a statement to assistant government spokesman Klelia Vasiliou.
Holding banners that read ‘Me President do not destroy the Stavrovouni Forest’ and ‘Residents and Monks will protect the environment’, the demonstrators were joined by MPs, candidates for MEP and other officials.
More than 12,500 signatures have been collected on a petition against the reactivation of the plant.
They said the operation of the plant, which is slated to produce up to 1,920 tons of asphalt a day, would go against their basic right to live in a safe and healthy environment.
After appealing to the president to overturn the decision, demonstrators said their next action, at the site itself, would not be so peaceful.
A tent has been set up at the entrance to the plant, which is manned everyday by protestors, who the company will find in front of them if they try to start work, a member of the Pyrgos-Kornos Initiative Spyros Kouloumis said.
“We are determined to continue our struggle until we get justice,” he said.
The site is adjacent to the military camp of the special forces. “Our children go to the army to serve their country not to be poisoned and to have their health seriously harmed,” added representative of the Pancyprian Society of Mothers of the National Guard Elpida Christofidou.