Cyprus Mail

Paralimni mayor at odds with MPs over water sport concessions (Updated)

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Paralimni mayor Theodoros Pyrillis has complained to MPs over their extension of water sports concessions on beaches without any tenders in a letter he sent to the attorney-general and the auditor-general.

The issue of water sports and the wider management of beaches was discussed on Wednesday at the House interior committee, where MPs warned that the dispute could leave bustling tourist beaches without water sports this summer.

Pyrillis has also reported the alleged irregularity to the European Commission delegation in Cyprus, as he claimed it violates EU directives.

According to daily Politis, the letter said that the Paralimni municipality, in compliance with the existing legislation, has issued 12 tenders, of which six were awarded and those remaining are still being examined.

It went on to say that MPs are interfering in public tendering and public procurement procedures by extending licences of businesses that expired in 2019, therefore nullifying the efforts of the local government authorities to comply with the relevant laws and regulations aimed at protecting equality and transparency.

But Edek MP Costis Efstathiou told Politis that Pyrillis’ claims are unfounded.

Last February, the Famagusta district court had thrown out a case brought by water sports providers in Paralimni who challenged a tender process launched by the municipality.

Following the outcome of the case, Pyrillis said in a post on social media that the municipality had launched tenders for the provision of water sports on the beaches but that existing providers had challenged it, demanding that the tender included a condition that bidders should have five years’ experience.

Their claims were eventually dismissed by the court and the attorney-general, who said that such a provision was contrary to legislation and the EU acquis.

In parliament, Disy MP Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis said it is unacceptable for there to even be a possibility that water sports are suspended from some beaches – a scenario, he says, is likely unless officials can untangle the knot.

“We have beaches without any water sports, and this is unacceptable, it is truly regrettable that for so many years the specific issues could not be overcome,” he told the committee, adding that MPs have tabled a bill to tackle the issue.



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