Cyprus Mail

Beach bar in Protaras branded ‘monument to illegality’

File photo

A beach bar in Malama, Protaras has been accused of going rogue and was slammed by the auditor general as being a “monument to illegality”.

It is understood that the row is centred on the beach bar running illegally as the owner had only obtained a three-year licence to operate a small kiosk or small van to sell basic refreshments and snacks.

But instead he built a restaurant complete with seating and tables, serving alcohol and main meals while also blasting music, according to auditor general Odysseas Michaelides.

The auditor general has reported the issue to the anti-corruption authority, reasoning that the issue has got so out of hand that state authorities may be abusing their power or neglecting their duty.

Michaelides’ strong condemnation came as he emphasised that the illegal business was constructed within a beach protection zone, in violation of the relevant legislation.

In his complaint, Michaelides also requested a detailed report of which measures – if any – the authorities have taken to redress the issue. He further called on Paralimni municipality to explain why it had not withdrawn the operator’s licence considering the clear violations, and even renewed it for 2020.

The auditor general pointed out that the fire services informed him that their evaluation was never requested.

Elsewhere, he was told by the planning department that the police were informed of the illegalities since August 2020 but no moves were taken.

Meanwhile, the land registry department confirmed the illegalities and explained that Paralimni municipality and the district officer are the authorities legally required to intervene.

Michaelides concluded that the issue arose soon after April 2017 when the municipality announced tenders to allow mobile refreshment units to operate at three beaches.

The terms for the three-year licence allowed for a mobile canteen – either a small van or prefab, non-permanent, unit – of no more than 20 square metres. The terms allowed for it operate between 8am and 8pm with the right to sell basic food items such as sandwiches, crisps and other snacks, along with some drinks such as soft drinks, water and beer.

The terms also stated that permits would be required from the municipality for beach events.

Michaelides said that after three years the municipality launched another tender and awarded it to the same operator, despite the clear violations.

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