Head of Lemba community council in the Paphos district Thoukidides Chrysostomou on Tuesday called on the interior ministry to allow more local authorities to be permitted to perform civil marriages.
As it stands, the law only allows for municipalities to carry out civil marriages which means that many local communities miss out on opportunities to boost their income.
“Unfortunately, we only provide the space and collect some money which is charged for the cleaning and preparation of the site,” Chrysostomou said.
His main concern is that local communities are missing out on opportunities to cash in on what their villages or towns may have to offer – which in Lemba’s case is a stunning valley and natural wonders, with sea views, Chrysostomou said.
The community leader listed a series of sites in the area which are immensely popular among couples including some natural caves, but bemoaned that Paphos municipality – and not the Lemba community council – is the one with the burgeoning coin purse.
Nevertheless, Lemba has invested thousands of euros and much effort in protecting its natural sites, according to Chrysostomou.
He explained that much work went into to securing the preservation of key areas by having them granted protected zoning status.
Civil weddings can provide municipalities with considerable added income, such as Ayia Napa which is a popular destination for British couples, and other visitors. The municipality carried out 900 civil weddings in 2019.