A beach in Paralimni was the target of vandalism Tuesday late into the night, raising suspicions as local authorities are locked in a dispute with residents over beach rights.
Paralimni Mayor Theodoros Pirillis took to social media on Wednesday to deplore an apparent act of vandalism at Glyki Nero beach.
Pirillis posted a number of photos showing sun beds thrown into the water and umbrellas knocked down.
“Look at the deeds of these folks who are showing off their culture in their own country. I feel really sorry for having thugs stooping to such level with abhorrent acts by destroying beach umbrellas and sun beds offered for free by the Paralimni municipality,” the mayor said.
'Some people insist on wanting the beach all to themselves for private use, but we won’t do them this favour'
“The pictures speak for themselves,” Pirillis added.
Last week, 13 sun beds at one local beach and two umbrellas at another one were set on fire, according to Pirillis who spoke with CNA News Agency.
A few weeks ago, Paralimni officials declared some of the local beaches, Glyki Nero, Kappari, and Freedom Beach, would be offering free umbrellas and sun beds to beachgoers from July through mid October.
But Pirillis also had crews tear down a number of sheds and tents, which were illegally placed on the beach by Dherynia residents in the area.
The mayor stopped short of assigning blame for the act of vandalism, saying the “police ought to carry out their investigation and there is no need to point fingers at people who could possibly not be responsible for this,” Pirillis said.
However, he added, “some people insist on wanting the beach all to themselves for private use, but we won’t do them this favour.”
Many balls in the air
Pirillis was at the centre of attention before the summer season, when he took an active role in addressing beach erosion in the Fig Tree area. Unlike previous years when there was no planning, the mayor said this time was different.
But due to red tape and sand erosion falling under the supervision of the government, reclamation projects were being held up due to legal challenges in other parts of the island.
Critics went as far as to suggest that another summer would go by without addressing the problem.
But Pirillis, who gave the nod for sand nourishment at Fig Tree back in April, said at the time his office had sought legal advice from a private law firm and the attorney said the construction fell under the jurisdiction of the mayor.