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Lady’s Mile restaurateurs protest bases’ ‘colonial’ policy

Εστιάτορες lady’s mile – Βρετανικές Βάσεις Διαμαρτυρία
Restaurant owners protesting on Thursday

Lady’s Mile beach restaurant owners protested outside the British bases police station in Kolossi on Thursday after they were ordered to close down their businesses.

Holding placards saying ‘you’re depriving 45 families of work’, ‘unemployed again’, they called on the bases to reconsider the matter and have a discussion.

According to a spokesperson for the six restaurant owners at Lady’s Mile, Filios Demetriades, the businesses have an agreement to be open between April and October. Nonetheless in practice, they would be open almost all-year round, as they would request a special permit from the bases which was usually granted.

A Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) spokesperson told the Cyprus Mail: “We don’t discuss individual cases. All licence applications need to meet a standardised set of criteria outlined on the SBA adminstration website in order to be granted.”

Demetriades said that on Tuesday, bases’ officers “came in to our restaurants and forced us to close”, in a manner that was reminiscent of colonial times, he noted.

Commenting on the fact that licences are only valid for seven months to begin with, Demetriades highlighted it was important to be open all 12 months, as it also impacted their staff which needed a job.

He charged there were unfair approaches as four restaurants were forced to close but two remained open. Nonetheless, it appears the two unaffected ones do not fall under the jurisdiction of the British bases.

“We expect all establishments within the SBAs to adhere to the rules regarding their operation outlined in the terms of their business licence. Anyone found to have breached them, faces the possibility of enforcement action which can include prosecution, fines and the withdrawal of licences,” the bases’ spokesperson said.

“Lady’s Mile is a significant area of environmental sensitivity. The SBA takes the safety and preservation of the environment very seriously and has established a variety of rules to ensure that disruption to wildlife and the wider ecosystem in the area is kept to an absolute minimum.”

 

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