Limassol mayor Nicos Nicolaides is angry with The Times accusing the British paper of distorting his statements on Akrotiri military base, located a few kilometres outside the city.
Under the headline ‘City of Dreams’ plan puts RAF Akrotiri at risk’, the paper had the mayor warning that development being observed in the area where the multimillion-pound casino-resort will operate and which is expected to gain further momentum could force the closure of the nearby military base.
The report also quoted Nicolaides saying future generations would ridicule British troops being based in Cyprus, and calling for a resolution to end the arrangement.
The mayor told Insider on Wednesday that in his letter to The Times he stressed that the statements were “totally distorted” and that he only referred to the anachronistic nature of a military base in modern Cyprus.
“The report is totally misleading. I have never said that any development in Limassol, either ongoing or planned, is directed against the British bases,” he said. “Asked in general about the issue of British bases, I said that the existence of military bases in a sovereign country such as Cyprus is now an anachronism that should be terminated at some stage in the future. I have demanded from The Times to correct their report,” he added.
The ambitious casino-resort development within the vicinity of Akrotiri base is a project that will exceed half a billion euros with substantial short and long term benefits to the local economy.
The casino is expected to operate within 2021 and to attract over 300,000 new visitors to Cyprus. Over the years, the casino will employ some 11,000 employees and create about 2,400 permanent jobs upon completion.