A large project worth € 8 100 000 is finally starting after almost 30 years of waiting. This is the project of regeneration of the Liopetri River, which after several difficulties that arose, now is the time for its implementation.
The project is co-financed by the European Maritime Fund and the Republic of Cyprus. It was designed to be built in 2013. However, the destruction of the economy and the haircut that followed suspended it until 2018-19, when its construction was redesigned. However, the failure of the bids, ie the fact that the cost was above the available amount, suspended the project again for a few months.
Both the director of EBE Famagusta Sotiris Panagiotou and the mayor of Liopetri Kyriakos Trisokas, however, the start of construction work for the large project, emphasizing the benefits that will have for Liopetri, but also for the free Famagusta more widely.
However, the project divides the fishermen of the Liopetri River, not in terms of the necessity of its construction, but in terms of the way the competent government agencies have chosen to manage the professionals who have been living by the river for decades. A group of fishermen are protesting against the regulations that have been pointed out to them for the next 30 months that the construction works will last, of the first phase of the regeneration of the Liopetri River. Noting that they were not asked to express their opinion as experts in the profession whether the regulations will be functional, they emphasize their concern for their financial survival until the projects are completed.
In particular, after the signing of the contracts for the project at the beginning of last August, it was announced very recently that it will start on September 18. And while everyone expected that the announcement of the construction of the project would primarily delight the total of 35 professional fishermen in Potamos, this did not happen, resulting in a split between them. A significant portion of professionals agree with the rest and the Community Council that the project is a necessity and will benefit themselves and the community, but at the same time the dissidents raise the issue of survival.
The affected complain that the State Services, Urban Planning, Department of Fisheries and others involved in the design of the project, despised them and did not take into account the need of fishermen to survive for 30 months.
Without counting any delay, they pointed out at the same time. As they explained to us yesterday, many will be asked to transport their fishing boats to Protaras, fishing from now on as blind in waters they do not know. In fishing grounds - bodies of other fellow fishermen, who are most likely to react. Especially in times when it is known that the Cypriot sea is not famous for plenty of fish. Fishermen also express strong fears that they are in fact entering 30 or more months of uncertainty about their future, but also the safety of their fishing boats, most of which will be moored far away from the residence of their owners, who in addition will spend additional money on fuel, but also time to go to work. In times "when a fish with a turnover over € 30, is not a common luck for a professional fisherman, who spends many hours at sea to succeed".
They also noted that those invited to fish in areas that do not know what is at the bottom and how the sea winds blow, will inevitably be exposed to weather phenomena and other hazards. In times "when a fish with a turnover over € 30, is not a common luck for a professional fisherman, who spends many hours at sea to succeed". They also noted that those invited to fish in areas that do not know what is at the bottom and how the sea winds blow, will inevitably be exposed to weather phenomena and other hazards. In times "when a fish with a turnover over € 30, is not a common luck for a professional fisherman, who spends many hours at sea to succeed". They also noted that those invited to fish in areas that do not know what is at the bottom and how the sea winds blow, will inevitably be exposed to weather phenomena and other hazards.
The protest of the protesting fishermen was also intense for the fact, as they complain, that just a few days ago they received the warning letters from the state, according to which they are called until September 15 to move their boats to other fishing shelters in the area. to be pointed out to them. Also, to move their property or other property from the natural fjord of the Liopetri River, before the bulldozers and cranes of the manufacturer undertake work. The deadline given to them is very short, say the fishermen, some of whom are worth mentioning that they have already undertaken work to dismantle and move what can be transported from the docking facilities of their boats that they created for a number of decades. previous years.
The case of the fisherman Marios Zampas, his uncle Andreas Zampas and the father of Spyros Zampas is typical. This is a traditional family of fishermen who maintain this profession from generation to generation. For the first time, they said, they will be outside the Liopetri River. While they argued that if the works on the River were carried out in parts, somehow the 35 professional fishermen would be comfortable in mooring their boats and would avoid all these problems and inconvenience.
Also, the fisherman Dimitris Matsagos and some others expressed reservations about the suitability of the area indicated to a small number of fishermen, near the mouth of the fjord, so that their boats dock there and do not need to move. According to fishermen, the spot is very close to the high seas and in winter their boats are very likely to sink or be damaged by the storm.