The Green party on Saturday decried “the environmental crime” at the Ammos tou Kambouri beach in Ayia Napa, during a protest organised ahead of World Environment Day.

“This is a project constructing luxury mansions for millions of euros and as a result, the area’s ecosystem is being disturbed.”

Around 50 people gathered by the shore to protest accusing the state of deliberately turning a blind eye to the impact on nature.

Green party leader Charalambos Theopemptou said “the businessman built in a Natura 2000 protected area.”

He alleged the earth was dug up, and sand brought to the area to bring the sea closer to the project. The beach was artificially constructed with full knowledge of people who had influence to stop it “but they just tried to have the project go on so all the permits could be obtained.”

“Everyone looked the other way.”

Theopemptou added the site has become a monument to the legislation that has been violated. “A monument to what various interventions in government and decision-making points can do.”

He called on the government to carefully consider how the area can be restored.

“The businessmen should go to court and be punished with a huge fine. They should also take the responsibility of restoring the beach to how it was, because the expenses are too big for the state to undertake.”