President Nicos Anastasiades said he was sorry on Tuesday if visiting the projects completed and set in motion during his term in office offended some critics, who have claimed in recent days that his tours around districts and laying of foundation stones were tantamount to electioneering.
During his tour of the Famagusta area on Tuesday, the president said: “I’m sorry to upset some people, I don’t mean to. They are projects that were carried out during my days [as president].”
He added that since he will not be running for the position again, his Cyprus-wide tour over recent days cannot be seen as electioneering.
At his first stop at the Frenaros nursery school, he said, “It [the tour] is to meet the people and thank those on whose initiatives projects were carried out.”
He then inspected the Sotira-Dherynia Road and inaugurated the Sotira Social Welfare Centre.
Also, the president inaugurated the Famagusta District Court, which since 1974 due to the Turkish invasion and occupation had been temporarily unified with the District Court of Larnaca.
Anastasiades then headed to Ayia Napa, where he inaugurated works to improve the centre of town and visited the Thalassa Museum. He said that in the entire area of Famagusta a total of 95 projects estimated to have cost over €240 million were completed.
“I am really very happy that the tours of the last few weeks in the districts and in the Troodos area come to an end today in the Famagusta district,” he said
Commenting on the nature of the projects in Famagusta, he said that they have created further economic, social and tourism benefits for the area.
“And I am happy because this is exactly the goal we set, when the Republic of Cyprus had already recovered from the economic crisis of 2012-2013, and through the district tours and meetings throughout Cyprus with the leaders of the local government,” he said.
He also lauded the marina projects estimated to have cost over €500 million, which have taken shape under his term in Paralimni, Limassol, Larnaca, and Ayia Napa.
Commenting on an agreement with the British government to create developed areas within the communities in the sovereign base territory, Anastasiades said that this agreement was especially important.
“An agreement that was a long-standing request of the residents within the bases and which favours fours municipalities and 21 communities, of which, within the Famagusta District are the municipality of Dherynia and the communities of Achna, Liopetri, Avgorou, Frenaros and Acheritou,” he said.
He added that under the agreement residents will be able to utilise their properties for the purposes of residential, tourist, commercial, livestock and agricultural development, while the rest of the area is included in soft development zones.
“It was an agreement reached with then British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 during our meeting in London,” he said.