Projects worth €370 million to revitalise the mountain areas were outlined on Sunday by Works Minister Yiannis Karousos, who said it was the aim of the Anastasiades’ government to give new life to them.

“The government of Nicos Anastasiades has identified for years the need to strengthen and support the countryside. The president himself aims to revitalise rural areas, so as to create the conditions for attracting new families, investors and entrepreneurs for permanent living and professional activity,” Karousos said at the in his address at a festival in Dora.

To achieve this goal, he said for the first time since the establishment of the Republic, in 2019 the government adopted the National Strategy for the Development of Mountain Communities, with the aim of giving real and substantial support to mountainous and remote areas so that they can develop culturally, socially and economically.

An integral part of this is the improvement of road infrastructure, creating accessibility and connectivity of these areas with urban centres.

In the Limassol district, the Limassol-Saittas highway is under development with a length of 22.5km and cost of €198 million. The first phase of works began in September 2020 and are expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

According to the minister, the budgeted amount for 2022-2024 for development projects in rural and mountain communities exceeds €370 million, an increase of €125 million compared to the three-year period 2019-2021.

At the same time, road network projects totaling €350 million are being implemented for the benefit of the development of these areas.

In terms of tourism, four projects have been included in the Cyprus Tomorrow programme, including the development of agrotourism to increase the number of visitors to these areas.

In addition, in cooperation with the interior ministry and the Commissioner for the Development of Mountain Communities, a specific policy has been developed that triples the expenditure for 2022 to create the prospects for the revitalisation of the countryside and the mountainous areas.

“Despite the economic impact caused by the health crisis and the war in Ukraine, the government chose to support owner-occupied housing in mountainous areas and the countryside, especially for young couples and families,” the minister concluded.