Fishermen and restaurateurs on the Liopetri river staged a protest on Friday morning over the delay to planned works in the area and the resulting loss of earnings.
The protesters urged the government to “take responsibility” and complete the planned works, which involve the upgrading of a local road and the construction of a fishing shelter.
The works were supposed to be completed by March, but the expected completion date was then pushed back to November. Now, it appears unlikely that the works will be completed by then.
At the protest, Liopetri river fisherman Panagiotis Katsiaris said, “the fishermen are all indignant, both those who are here and others who have moved to other shelters”.
He said that the fishermen have experienced great suffering over the past two and a half years, and added “we are tired, we want the project to end”.
In addition, he said that representatives of local fishermen had met with the parliament’s Agriculture committee three times and visited the Interior minister. He said promises were given but not kept by those in government and expressed his sadness to be protesting.
Local fisherman Antonis Zambas said fishermen had been asking for works to be completed for over a year and that progress is being made far too slowly on the projects.
He said, “we are suffering unimaginably, and the work must be undertaken by ministers, the government, the Department of urban planning, and a solution must be found”.
Myrofora Masia, who owns a restaurant on the river, said that one of the local restaurants has now been closed for over a year and that hers, despite being open, is not making any money.
“Customers are outraged, they are cancelling reservations, tourists are also in despair, they want to come, and they keep asking me if the road has opened”, she said, adding that the project should be finished by November at the latest.
Parliamentary Agriculture committee chairman Giannakis Gabriel called for a meeting between the Interior and Agriculture ministers to be held on the Liopetri so that the pair can see that the project is making no progress.
He conceded that the project would not be complete by November but said his committee “wants to solve the problem immediately”.
Liopetri mayor Vassos Manoli was even less optimistic, saying “it won’t even end by November 2024”.
He added that people now must take a five-kilometre detour to access the river by car as the road is currently in an unacceptable condition.
Ayia Napa mayor Christos Zannettou said that the delay to the project is depriving more than 50 and called the delays “unjustified”. He urged those in power to take responsibility.