The Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos and Paphos municipal council had nothing to do with the decision to cut down 15 mature trees on the side of the Grivas Dighenis Avenvue, a municipality announcement said.

“Neither the mayor nor the municipal council had any input in this decision” as it was “strictly taken by technocrats” said Paphos municipality on Wednesday.

Paphos municipal authorities had come under attack from the Green Party and activists for the felling of the cypress and pine trees, which was done a week earlier than scheduled because protests were expected.

The felling of the trees was a technical decision imposed by the needs of a major infrastructure project, the municipality said. The forestry department was informed and gave its consent to the felling after consultation and an on-site visit.

It added that “the municipality and the contracting company will take all necessary measures during the implementation of the project, to ensure that no more trees are affects.”

It was “a shame to criticise the municipal authorities given their actions to protect, highlight and enrich the greenery of the city.”