Tourists at Larnaca airport got a swift introduction to the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle over the weekend as they saw taxi drivers “set up a coffee shop” just outside the entrance at the pick-up spot, blocking the area.

Videos of the impromptu setup went viral on social media after a visitor posted footage and added the famous Zorba the Greek song.

Some commentators on social media saw the light side to it, quipping that “all that’s missing is the souvla and tavli”.

Others added “that’s why we love Cyprus, wherever you go the island is like home”.

But the incident failed to amuse Transport Minister Alexis Vafeadis who said it gives the wrong first impression to the island’s visitors.

“This situation cannot continue… we cannot have situations such as that at Larnaca airport where it’s like a coffee shop just outside, which is essentially the first experience for our visitors,” he said over the weekend.

Indeed, many were concerned that the lax appreciation of parking and other related rules instills little faith in the sector – raising safety concerns. Minibuses and taxis were forced to park in the driving lane as taxi drivers sat on chairs, blocking the allocated parking spots.

But on Monday head of the taxi federation Constantinos Constantinou said the taxi drivers were left with few options given the intense heat and lack of facilities, despite repeated calls for improvements.

“The specific footage was from 2am, with the next flight at 3:20am, at 40C degrees and they sat outside to get a breeze,” he sought to explain.

Constantinou said that despite years of requesting improved parking and waiting room or office facilities nothing has been done.

“Where are the modern European facilities? Instead, they’re having to park above and in the open – they’re getting into the cars with 100C degrees during this period.

“But the authorities don’t see that, they see this scene – of course it’s not a nice scene but at 3am with 37C degrees and humidity, well I take my hat off to them that they were outside the car with such temperatures,” Constantinou told Alpha.

“Now with one video on social media suddenly everyone’s jumping up and down, the authorities are suddenly all over it – what I’m saying is make the facilities which are required,” Constantinou said.

“I was in the air conditioning all day with my car on but it cost me €50 in fuel,” he added.

But the transport minister said the situation must change, saying that the authorities will look at what remedies are needed to prevent such incidents – also referring to the brawl that broke out earlier this month at Paphos airport.

Vafeadis was referring to the incident in which six male taxi drivers were arrested after a fracas.

The fight was a two-sided affair, with one group of three men aged 22, 48, and 52, fighting the other group of three men aged 21, 39, and 50.

Police believe that the cause of the disagreement was the drivers’ working methods and parking spaces at the airport.