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Construction works on Limassol marina are expected to start at the beginning of September, Commerce Minister Antonis Paschalides said yesterday.

According to the minister, who yesterday briefed the House Commerce Committee on the matter, the government is determined to complete the Limassol, Paphos and Agia Napa marinas as soon as possible.

MPs welcomed plans to finally start in Limassol, but all expressed their disapproval of the fact that the minister had no clear timeframes for when works on the other marinas are set to begin.

Referring to the Limassol marina, Paschalides said all the relevant government departments had been coordinated in a bid to avoid delays. “We are currently in the final stages and it is a matter of weeks for everything to have a happy ending for Limassol Marina,” he said.

Referring to the Ayia Napa port, Paschalides said the ministry was awaiting the Attorney-general’s advice on whether the project could be assigned directly to the contractor who applied for the job over five years ago, as opposed to going through the tenders’ procedure. There have been delays, he added, as the Local Plan was being finalised.

“We positively support the creation of the Ayia Napa marina and we want works to start immediately,” said Paschalides. “If the tenders’ procedure is followed, the construction will be delayed for many years.”

The government, he added, is not to blame for the delays, as just three days after the Local Plan was approved the Cabinet decided that negotiations with the contractor should start immediately.

But Committee Chairman Lefteris Christoforou of DISY said his Committee would be sending a letter to President Demetris Christofias listing its concerns and requesting immediate solutions for Ayia Napa.

“It isn’t right for the marina of the free Famagusta area to move ahead at a slower rate than marinas in other areas,” said Christoforou.

“We are not concerned with whether the Attorney-general or anyone else is to blame for these delays; we are concerned with the works going ahead,” he added. Christoforou called on the government to pull all the stops so works can begin in September in Agia Napa too.

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