Residents of the village of Ayios Theodoros in Larnaca yesterday carried out a protest against plans for wind farms in the area.
After a community meeting on Wednesday night, the village council decided to hold a demonstration at the “˜Kalatrikas’ area 1.3 kilometres outside the residential area of the village. Inhabitants of the Ayios Theodoros village were at the scene by 4am yesterday, planning to disrupt the work of the construction company.
After a heated debate between residents and construction workers, also involving a police presence, the workers from the construction company abandoned the site.
The protest comes less than three weeks after vandals cut the cables that supported wind masts set up in the area in order to measure and evaluate wind speeds. The damage caused by these actions were reported to be worth an estimated £200,000, while owners of wind energy companies were concerned about the possibility of investors pulling out and the delay for new wind masts to be installed.
Ayios Theodoros community leader Lazaros Pieri told reporters that no government body had informed them of the serious issues that affected the villagers once wind farms would be up and running.
“Nobody is giving us a clear picture on what will happen regarding the serious issues of health, disturbing the peace as well as the noise levels that we will encounter if permits are given for the introduction of wind generators in the area,” he said yesterday.
Owner and President of K.E. Aerodynamics company, Akis Ellinas, told the Cyprus Mail two weeks ago that the villagers were now opposing the plans due to outside influence.
“I took the village council to Crete two years ago and showed them other wind farms and educated them all about how everything worked and the benefits it would have on the village.
“They seemed pretty happy about it, especially about the creation of new jobs, new roads and the better infrastructure this would bring about. Other people with different interests appear not only to have misinformed the whole village but the whole of the island about such programmes,” Ellinas said.
The villagers have declared that they will not cease their demonstrations until the project is abandoned.
Cyprus currently finds itself lagging far behind its 2010 six per cent target for renewable energy and hopes were high that wind energy could bridge the gap.
By Nassos Stylianou
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