A large group of protesters gathered outside the Paralimni Town Hall on Thursday to complain about what they describe as the “arbitrary, abusive and illegal interventions of the Paralimni Municipality” along the local coastline.
The local council has sparked furious reaction against large scale development of pristine stretches of coastline at Agia Triada, Kapparis and Sirena Bay, which protesters say was carried out with no reference to scientific or environmental studies.
Bulldozers have been destroying rock formations and greenery along the east coast of the island, prompting people to camp outside the Town Hall with banners, deckchairs and even play beach games in an effort to catch the mayor’s attention, however he was nowhere to be seen.
Maria HajiMichael said that the Mayor of Paralimni Municipality promised to stop any work along the coast, however a pump that appears to carry sand from the bottom of the sea to the shore was spotted in the area of “Glitzia Nera” at Kapparis today.
The citizens’ initiative is demanding:
• The protection of our natural coastlines and public beaches,
• Τhe safeguard of open, free and public access to our coastlines and beaches,
• The implementation of the relevant EU and national legislation, such as the “Beach Protection Law” and the implementation of open, democratic and transparent public consultation procedures, that respect our environmental and social rights, such as the protection of the natural environment and the safeguarding of a high quality of life standard.
The group say that uprooting the coastal flora, “…. leads to erosion, which we try to counter by constructing breakwaters and by transferring sand from other beaches. This disastrous chain reaction becomes a vicious cycle. Rocky shores are also part of the physical landscape of a coastline. It takes millions of years for their formation and are part of the natural zoning of the coast. The rocks also form the natural protection of the coast against erosion and are unique ecosystems,” the group said in a press release.
The mayor of Paralimni was invited to comment on the situation, but did not return calls.