Cyprus Latest News May11

Catch up with the headlines on the Cyprus latest news May11

New Desalination Plant Opens in Paphos

A new desalination plant for the Paphos area opened just a week ago on May 4th in Kouklia. Back in February, I reported that we were having a dry 2011 winter here in Cyprus. While thankfully, plenty of rain in March and April has brought reservoir levels up to 62% as of May 14th, the government remains committed to NOT relying on rainfall, and is forging ahead with 3 more desalination plants which will be in operation by the end of 2012.

The Paphos plant, opened by president Christofias is capable of producing 30,000 cubic metres of water daily and will serve Paphos, Peyia and Geroskipou. The water will only be used for irrigation purposes in the agricultural sector, so residents will not have to buy bottled water as in Larnaca, as the taste of desalinated water, while safe to drink, is rather unpleasant.

While desalination is not a green method of producing water and is expensive, at least the island should not be forced to spend even more money shipping water from another country during a drought, as it did back in 2008.

New Law to end Cyprus Title Deeds Problems

A new law has just been passed in Cyprus that hopefully will put an end to the problem and worry of buying property here without title deeds. The Immovable Property Sales (Specific Performance) Law was unanimously approved by MPs and it gives land contracts power over any mortgages owed to the banks by the property’s seller.

That means that if an unscrupulous developer sells you a property on which he already has another mortgage, then you will still be able to obtain your title deeds and you can then pay the bank, rather than the developer, any monies owed for the property.

This new law should help to reactivate the ailing property market and give buyers more confidence, having been put off by the many high profile reports of the risks of investing in property on the island, due to lack of title deeds.

All Inclusive Hotels are now the Norm

With major tour operator First Choice announcing that all its hotels will be all inclusive from this year, restaurants have yet more to complain about. I told you about the restaurant strike in Paphos back in the winter as a protest over declining tourist numbers due to hotels offering inclusive deals. The First Choice decision is sure to put more pressure on local tavernas, but that means they need to think and act differently to get trade.

There are plenty of residents who would eat out more if they had a better choice and standard of food, and also if prices were more realistic. Take the village of Kathikas, for example, situated 15km from Paphos between Polis and the town. The village has no less than 5 restaurants, all of which do well, as they offer good quality and a great price and have friendly staff, most of whom actually speak Greek.

The tourist restaurants in Paphos should take a close look and review what they do, before complaining about lack of business and doing nothing about it.

New Marina on the Karpas Peninsula

The Karpas peninsula in the TRNC (North Cyprus) used to be totally unspoilt with almost zero infrastructure. But now a new marina has been built adding fuel to the political fire called the Cyprus "problem" as the marina has been built on Greek Cypriot owned land, near the occupied village of Yialousa.

The developer, the Lewis Trust Group (LTG) is an investment company that owns, among other interests, the 300 River Island retail stores in the UK and their representative Liza Singer told the Cyprus Mail that “We are talking about an honest developer who is coming with his experience and money and knowledge to built a touristic development and introduce a new sector to a remote part of the island for the benefit of the island as a whole, with the vision that a prosperous north will lead to a prosperous, peaceful island.”

Environmentalists are alarmed at what they see is the beginning of a tourism explosion on this beautiful part of the occupied area of the island and, while it will bring jobs and income to the area, the question has to be at what cost?

The marina will have 300 berths and a dry dock plus a 300 tonne crane for maintenance, so it is not exactly a small scale development. You can see a picture of Karpas marina here at the Cyprus Mail.

That's all from our Cyprus Latest News May11.

See you next time.



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