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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Loukas Spatharis: We did projects in Limassol, we will do more

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    Limassol Municipal Councilor Candidate with DISY Loukas Spatharis presents his positions and develops his vision in Cyprus Times

    Mr. Spatharis I will start by invoking your many years of presence in the Limassol Municipal Council and as hence your experience. What sets Limassol apart from other cities today?

    First of all its people and their love for the city. This I believe, along with other factors have ranked Limassol as the most beautiful and attractive city in Cyprus. And this was done after years of concerted efforts and it is something that I think all citizens admit. S’ this, I repeat, was also helped by the culture of Limassol, who loves and fights for his city. I think it is no coincidence that the biggest development is in Limassol and that local and foreign businessmen choose our city to invest. This we recognize may have brought some problems but the benefits were far greater and more significant.

    A lot has been done in Limassol in recent years, but surely more needs to be done. What should be the priorities of the new Municipal Council?

    We did projects, we will do more! A lot has certainly been done and that cannot be disputed. Maybe not what should have been done but there were factors that acted as an obstacle. But important works were done. Indicatively, I should mention that with the recommendation of the Urban Planning Committee and the unanimous decision of the Municipal Council, we sent our opinions and they were adopted for the Limassol Center Area Plan, we did renovations of four Squares – Philellini, Aristides (Titi) Koudounaris, Anagennisis and Michalis Kakogiannis, we created the Adult Activity Center, we proceeded with the reconstruction of Misiaoulis and Cavazoglou Streets, we made a European-standard Playground in the Public Garden, a Beach Sports Center and upgraded the Eagle Field, the Support Center and Reintegration “Plan”, we built a dog park in Zakaki, a new Outdoor Market as well as created or are to be implemented new museums such as the Limassol Carnival, Sports History of the GSO, etc. Also important are the Anti-Flood projects with which we protected citizens and property and solved a problem that had been bothering us for years. I also cannot help but mention the regeneration of the Historical Center of Agia Phyla, an area that for years was forgotten and as a Municipal Council we started to give it the gift it deserves!

    Now in the second part of your question about the priorities of the new Municipal Council, I think that we should manage to be “closer” to the citizens to try, to solve small and big problems that bother them and to have a say through their participation in decisions that they are of immediate interest to him. We also need to upgrade our popular neighborhoods to be more family friendly, build more parks and increase green spaces in the city, ensure in cooperation with the state for affordable housing for as many of our fellow citizens who need support, work for a safer Limassol with the creation of the Municipal Police, to create support programs for vulnerable groups and people with rare diseases, to improve accessibility for the disabled as well as to improve citizens' communication with the Municipality.

    < strong>Certainly your contacts with the citizens are frequent. What is their number one problem? What are they asking for?

    In the years that I have been a Municipal Councillor, I have met, talked to and tried to help thousands of my fellow citizens. I saw and heard many problems that concern them. After all, this is what I have been doing as a journalist in Limassol for 22 years. Through my reporting, I try to solve problems and make my city better. I think the biggest problems they face are traffic (which is not entirely the responsibility of the Municipality to resolve), but we must push as much as we can to find a solution. And we have a plan to improve it year after year. There is also a problem with the quality of life in the popular districts, which need to create infrastructure for the citizens as well as with the service of the citizens. We have a problem with this, but most of the employees of the Municipality, and I have to say that they handle more tasks than what should have been given to them. In brief. There is understaffing. But I repeat it is not the fault of the citizens who should be served directly and be able to see and talk more easily with the Municipality Employees whom I want to take this opportunity to thank them from the bottom of my heart for the perfect cooperation we had. As well as the Mayor, the fellow Municipal Councillors, the Municipal Secretary, the Municipal Engineer, their chiefs of staff and all the Employees. But especially the Technical Department of the Municipality, one by one because as president of the Urban Planning Committee I had daily contact with them and they all treated me with courtesy and professionalism.

    You? What do you miss from Limassol today?

    There is nothing missing from Limassol. And I say it because I believe it. Some things need to be corrected, but I repeat, Limassol lacks nothing and has nothing to envy from European countries.

    How do you estimate that the Local Government Reform will help to improve the quality of life for everyone? citizen?

    The Reform is a big bet that must be won for the good of the city and its citizens. It takes a lot of work to succeed. I'm not so optimistic. I think we are not ready and I hope to be refuted so that citizens and businesses are not inconvenienced. But we will be there to help wherever and whenever we are asked as well as to suggest and try for the best.

    Do you think that being a journalist has helped you on your way as a Municipal Councillor?

    Too much. And that's because for 22 years I've always been on the front line, next to every fellow citizen to help through my reports. Also, the contacts, the appreciation, the recognition from personalities and social groups in the 22 or so years that I have been working as a Journalist at SIGMA and as a Marketing Manager at MC GROUP and later as a Municipal Councilor, act as reinforcements in the joint effort with my fellow citizens… Let's transform the idea in practice and to make our city better!

    What is your personal goal, if the citizens honor you with their vote?

    To continue what I have been doing for years. To be next to every citizen to fight every day for the good of all citizens regardless of ideological beliefs and for my voice to be an extension of their own voice, their own demands and their own claims. This is how I walked and this is how I will continue to walk!

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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