Statement by the General Secretary of AKEL Stefanos Stefanou during his tour of shops in the free areas of Famagusta
8 November 2021, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
Today we toured the free areas of Famagusta to see the problems both hoteliers and shopkeepers face.
Earlier on, we had a meeting with the Cyprus Hotels Association (PASYXE) Famagusta and discussed the problems tourism faces in the area. We exchanged views on how to solve these problems and what should be done. The main problem is the seasonal nature of tourism that Cyprus is confronted with and we need to address this issue. AKEL has submitted concrete proposals on this matter and on how to tackle what is indeed a complex and difficult problem.
As to shopkeepers, I must say that the coronavirus, with its consequences that have led to a significant reduction in tourism, has also dealt a severe blow to the viability and prospects of shopkeepers. I must also say that shopkeepers are complaining because the Government has made numerous promises that haven’t been fulfilled in practice. The most important problem is that the area has not been declared an affected area at the time when such a promise was made by the government. All the data demonstrate that the area does indeed meet all the criteria to be declared an affected area. Specific support is needed so that shopkeepers can survive. Behind every shop and small businessman there are entire families waiting to survive.
We talked to shopkeepers on our tour of shops in the area. We will subsequently prepare our petitions and make our representations again to the government and the relevant departments seeking to promote the problems, but at the same time as AKEL we shall also propose solutions that must be given as soon as possible.
On the Presidential elections press scenarios
We have commented on this yesterday and today. The scenarios reported are partly quite natural, but the scenarios reported do not correspond, at least as far as AKEL is concerned, to what is actually being said and does not correspond to reality in the sense that AKEL has not yet discussed the issue of the Presidential elections in the Party’s bodies. When and provided we shall discuss the issue, we will be able to say something more.