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New mountain commissioner set to be appointed in two months

File photo: Troodos mountains

A mountain development commissioner is set to be appointed within the next two months, an agriculture ministry confirmed on Tuesday amid mounting criticism from MPs at the House commerce committee.

As deputies discussed problem residents in mountain communities face, permanent secretary at the agriculture ministry Andreas Gregoriou assured the matter of the commissioner would be settled in two months.

“The excuse saying the role must be evaluated is unacceptable, as communities consider the appointment to be imperative,” Disy MP Nikos Sykas said.

He added the National Strategy for Mountainous Areas, which provides for 236 actions at a total cost of €400 million until 2030, is a plan left behind from the previous government however it has been marred by long delays in its implementation, which the deputy put down to the non-appointment of a commissioner.

AKEL MP Kostas Kosta said that for people to return to the countryside and for rural communities to be able to get back on their feet, they first need a safe road network, schools, medical centres and new jobs.

More specifically on the issue of the road network, Kostas said that in many areas it is dangerous, while he addressed the Limassol – Saitta road, reiterating that the project should not be stopped in phase 1 until Palodia.

“Unfortunately, no funds for the A2 phase are available in the 2024 state budget, while the A1 phase has a huge delay,” he said.

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