Cyprus Mail

Anastasiades on tour of Larnaca, calls it a modern city ‘reborn’

ΠτΔ – Εγκαίνια Δημοτικής Αγοράς Λά
President Anastasiades, inaugurates the new Municipal Market of Larnaka.

Larnaca is taking on the image of a modern European municipality thanks to a series of projects that have made it more humane, functional, and attractive, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday.

He was speaking during a tour of Larnaca that saw him visiting several finished and unfinished projects around the city.

“Today, during this tour of the city I saw for myself a reborn Larnaca, which does not resemble in any way the one of the previous decades, a Larnaca that is on a clear trajectory of development and progress,” he said in a speech after attending the inauguration of several projects in the city centre.

This Larnaca, he said, is “a city which, through a series of public infrastructure and development projects implemented in recent years, can now respond to the needs of its residents, who rightly demanded to see their city reformed, to become a centre of economic, social, cultural and touristic acclaim”.

Anastasiades said that since his government took over, projects amounting to a total of €157 million have been implemented or launched in the municipality of Larnaca, “with the decisive contribution of the government, either through the allocation of national funds or through co-financing from the European Union”.

“So far, 30 projects with a total cost of more than €71 million have been completed, including the creation a new wing at Larnaca hospital, the construction of the traditional municipal market, the reconstruction of the square and the beautification of the facades in the “Zouchouri” area, the renovation of the Larnaca archaeological museum and the creation of a modern search and rescue centre”.

Anastasiades inaugurates the search and rescue coordination centre
Anastasiades inaugurates the search and rescue coordination centre

As a result, Larnaca has become a modern European municipality, with upgraded and new infrastructure, and services that make it more humane and functional, he said, “serving residents and visitors and highlighting its advantages, transforming it in an attractive place to live and work, but also a unique tourist destination”.

Anastasiades expressed pride that Cyprus became the first in absorbing European funds during his presidency, stressing however that the projects would not have been possible without the initiative and determination of the mayor, the municipal council, and everyone else involved, “to mature important projects, and to set the conditions for implementing or launching projects either through national resources or through co-financing”.

“If Larnaca is enjoying benefits today, it is because it had a mayor with a vision and a municipal council that shared the vision, as a result of which projects became reality,” he said.

The city’s growth, he continued, is the result of the specific goals and planning, and the “zeal and efforts” of the mayor and municipal council, “for the launch and implementation of state-of-the-art projects which have really reformed the municipality.

“The most important of all, is that they have created the prospects for the continuation of the development of Larnaca”.

The president said that there have been “exemplary” infrastructure projects with multiplying benefits, which for decades have been justified, but until now unfulfilled, requests of the city’s residents”.

Among these is the demolition and relocation of the oil refineries, which has freed up three kilometres of the seafront, leaving room for urban regeneration, he added, saying there is already strong interest in residential, tourist and commercial developments.

Equally important, he said, are the anti-flood works, worth €18 million, which have made a difference in reducing the perennial issue of the destruction of residential areas during the winter months.

“Despite the recent torrential rains and severe weather, the city has not been affected to the extent it was in the past,” he said, adding that a new project worth €5 million is due to begin in Kamares in June 2023, while anti-flood dams in Aradippou worth €14 million are due to finish in early 2024.

Regarding the development of the Larnaca port and marina, the president said it was “the largest investment ever made in Cyprus, with an estimated total expenditure of €1.2 billion,” which is expected to create more than 4,000 new jobs and bring in over €120 million per year.

At the same time, he added that eight other projects are underway, amounting to €86 million, including the improvement of the Larnaca-Dhekelia coastal road, the building of a new technical school, upgrading for Evriviadio Gymnasium, and the creation and construction of a complex of 32 residential units in Ayios Nicolaos.

In his own speech, Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras said that the city “is becoming a modern and sustainably developed city, safe and functional for its citizens, welcoming to local and foreign visitors and attractive to investors”.

He added that with the integrated development of the port and marina, and the expected arrival of cruise ships, the city’s commercial centre is expected to be strengthened to a great extent since 27 cruise ship arrivals with over 27,000 visitors in total are expected for 2023.

Even with the implementation of the Local Government reform, there is no doubt that with the integration of the Larnaca municipality with that of Livadia and the community of Oroklini, “the new Municipality will be much more auspicious and promising,” he said.

This multitude of projects gives the right to every Larnaca resident “to feel proud of this city, as proud as we are entitled to be of every city, Anastasiades said concluding his address.

“Handing over the government in the next few days, I sincerely feel that I did everything I could to leave everyone, not just those who voted for me, satisfied,” he said. “Whether I have succeeded or not is up to the public to decide.

“I feel at peace is that I cooperated with all the local authorities without discrimination, as long as there were visionary leaders, local leaders who created the prospects for the government to help us regenerate our homeland,” he said.

On Friday morning, the president inspected the works for the third phase of the reconstruction of the Larnaca – Dhekelia coastal road, in the Oroklini area. He then visited the former oil refinery area on the beachfront where he was informed about its development processes.

Afterwards, President Anastasiades inaugurated the renovated Archaeological Museum of Larnaca, as well as the new facilities of the city’s tennis club. He also unveiled a plaque in Castle Square and inaugurated projects in Zouchouri Square.

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