Cyprus Mail

Larnaca marina boat owners renew demands for ‘real’ solution

larnaca marina boat owners
Photo source: CNA

The association of commercial boat owners protested at Larnaca marina over the weekend in an ongoing objection to rising berthing fees.

Two weeks ago the boat owners agreed to end a two-day blockade and managing company Kition Ocean Holding, announced it would postpone the planned fee increase for three months in a bid to appease them.

“We express the intention to continue a constructive dialogue with all parties involved so we can resolve any potential issues,” the development company announced at the time.

Boat owners on Sunday protested silently holding banners reading: ‘We demand berthing spaces’ and ‘Big Development = Expensive parking’.

“We are protesting the continuous increases imposed by Kition Ocean Holdings on docking fees while the state essentially ignores us,” president of the association Chris Stekas told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

The state’s earlier proposals were not true solutions, Stekas claimed, leading to a situation where the boat owners were stuck with no way out.

Some owners had been forced by circumstances to relocate to Ayia Napa, others had moved to the north, and some had sold their boats to new owners in Greece, Stekas said.

“The way the case is being handled is driving away middle-class boat owners who can no longer afford the fees they want to impose on us,” Stekas said, adding “this is just the beginning. Their [end] goal is to triple or quadruple fees in the next few years.”

The association president said the goal was to remind state officials that the problem had not gone away and would only get worse.

The solution is creation of mooring areas in every city, not just Larnaca, Stekas said, and maintaining existing mooring areas on a non-profit basis.

Asked about next moves, Stekas said the boat owners expect a response from the transport ministry and negotiation with Kition Holdings.



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