Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras says he does not agree with the latest memorandum on the removal of oil and gas installations in his town, saying his constituents want to see action and not just words.
Vyras, who has been mounting a campaign to have oil refineries near the old Larnaca port removed, has rejected a modified Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and the oil companies, telling daily Phileleftheros that he is sending an explanation letter to President Nicos Anastasiades.
“The content of the third draft, as it was sent to us by the Legal Services Department on behalf of the government, is not satisfactory,” Vyras said.
The issue of removing the oil refineries along Larnaca’s Dhekelia Road has been a long and protracted battle, with the majority of members on the city council demanding immediate action.
It is unclear whether the council will decide to take drastic measures but Vyras had told media in the past that his main goal was to make sure the installations are removed
But delays and grace periods have been adding up, with the government and companies agreeing on a road map for a total removal in the next couple of years.
But the city council has also been threatening to take tougher measures, despite a recent albeit symbolic gesture by Anastasiades, who showed up earlier this month to help cut the first piece using a welding torch.
Vyras says he will make public his letter to the president and also plans to call for a city public meeting later in May.
In previous public meetings, several possible measures had been discussed including blocking access to the entrances of the city's airport and port as well as setting blockades outside oil and gas storage tank areas.
The controversial oil and gas installations became part of the landscape in the southern town, a symbol of industry on the one hand but a monstrosity interfering with nature on the other hand.
It is unclear whether the council will decide to take drastic measures but Vyras had told media in the past that his main goal was to make sure the installations are removed within a “realistic timeframe” and that “if there is no evidence of a removal, then we will take action,” he said.