President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday that Paphos has re-emerged as a ‘centre of intellect’, and praised the mayor and the local council for their diligent efforts in upgrading the city’s infrastructure.

He made the remarks at a function titled ‘The Paphos that has changed’, coming at the end of an all-day tour of the coastal city.

“In the past few years there has been marked construction activity, as well as growing business and tourist activity in your city,” Anastasiades said.

“What I’d like to highlight is that Paphos is turning into a centre of education, with the American University of Beirut, and today with the founding of Tepak…all this create prospects for young people, for the growth of the city and, most important of all, for Paphos to become a centre of intellect as it once was.”

The president spent the day visiting major development projects in the city.

In an announcement earlier, Paphos municipality said the president would inaugurate phase I of the northern bypass road of Yeroskipou, the renovation and expansion of the archaeological museum of Paphos, the replacement and beautification of the municipal market, and the upgrades on Sellahoglu Street and the two adjacent parking lots, in Paphos.

Later in the day, Anastasiades inaugurated the unification of the archaeological sites of Kato Paphos and the regeneration and promotion of the fishing village of Kato Paphos.

In the afternoon, the president laid the foundation stone for the building of the School of Management, Tourism, Hospitality and Entrepreneurship of the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak), in Paphos.

During the main event, he was awarded the Golden Key of the city by the mayor, in 28 October Square. The event included a concert with Stavros Xarhakos, Manoli Mitsias and Iro Saia.

Speaking at the ceremony in the morning at the inauguration of the bypass, mayor Phedonas Phedonos (a member of the ruling Disy party) said: “We are here because 75 per cent is within the municipal boundaries of the municipality of Paphos, 20 per cent in the municipality of Konia and 5 per cent in the municipality of Yeroskipou. So, it is the point where the municipality of Paphos meets Yeroskipou and Konia.”

He added that they have now moved forward with further connecting these municipalities. The entire project cost €6,446,230.

“This project essentially connects the north part of the city with the airport,” he said.

Earlier in the week, Paphos municipal council decided by a majority in its session to award the golden key of the city to Anastasiades, as a sign of recognition and appreciation of all that he has offered to the city.

Meantime a group of people from across Cyprus, who are against the municipal council’s decision, held a protest at 7pm when Anastasiades received the key to the city.

Hinting at this in his remarks, Anastasiades said he was “proud” that people can exercise the right to voice their dissent.