A protest was held on Sunday by residents of the Akamas village of Ineia against the contentious local plan to protect the environment, which they say has left them with zero options as regards use of their land.

According to CNA from the scene, the protesters held placards saying: ‘Coexistence of man and the environment’ and ‘Akamas 30 years refugees in our own country’. They blocked the roads to Lara beach for around an hour, claiming, according to the community leader Yiangos Tsivikos, “equality for the community”.

In his statements to the journalists, the community leader said: “Unfortunately, in order to be heard, we have to continue the dynamic and massive protests and the message must be given to all those involved and to the environmental organisations which, unfortunately, are the ones who are also on the ad hoc committee and get to make decisions on the local plan.”

He also added that despite the suggestions they are asked for from time to time by the state services, they are not taken into account all. Tsivikos called on the President “for the last time” to stop the local plan because if it goes ahead it will be final nail in the coffin for Ineia residents especially.

He said the residents would not accept the plan and will continue to fight.

“There is no village, no municipality anywhere that has beaches and sea and people have to drive eight kilometres away [because it is forbidden],” he said.

The president of Inia Youth, Christos Sokratous, called on President Nicos Anastasiades to help the community and close his ears to the self-proclaimed environmentalists and the hunters.

Ineia has separated itself from the other communities caught up in the environmental plan because the residents say that the other villages will receive some benefit while Ineia will not.

The Akamas zoning/development plan, to be unveiled by month’s end or in early September now that studies have been completed.

The plan incorporates the administrative boundaries of eight Paphos communities: Kathikas, Pano Arodes, Kato Arodes, Ineia, Droushia, Fasli, Androlikos and Neo Chorio. It concerns a coastal area covering a total of 181 square kilometres and with a 45 km shoreline.

The area includes the Akamas State Forest, while a large part of it (approximately 50 per cent) falls within the European Natura 2000 Network, including the area covered by the state forest.