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Larnaca port back under the government’s control

The Cypriot government assumed control of Larnaca Port as of midnight 28 May, after terminating a €1.2b investment deal with Kition Ocean Holdings.

Speaking to InBusinessNews, Transport, Communications and Works Minister Alexis Vafeades explained that the port’s gate and periphery are now under the control of the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA), while the state has taken over management of Larnaca marina.

“Right now, Kition continues to load the ship that is participating in the ‘Amalthea’ initiative and once that’s complete, the Ports Authority, based on our plan, will take over the port’s full management,” said Vafeades.

He said he expected this process to wrap by the end of the day; bar unforeseen circumstances.

As for the marina, Vafeades said discussions were currently underway within the government to decide which ministry or deputy ministry will be placed in charge.

“It is something we are looking at as we speak and decisions are expected in the coming days; but the Larnaca marina is under the state’s ownership,” said the minister.

Asked whether there have been any reactions by Kition Ocean Holdings, Vafeades said there hadn’t. “We haven’t had any reactions so far, beyond the company’s announcement,” he said.

Vafeades on Kition’s response

In an announcement after the decision was made public, Kition Ocean Holdings contradicted the government’s claims and said – among other – that it had been advised by its legal team “that the notice is in breach of the terms of the agreement, and we are examining our legal options”.

But Vafeades said, “I don’t understand Kition’s claims. We have acted in line with the provisions of the contract. On our part, we have not breached the contract and believe we made the right decision to terminate the contract”.

Asked whether the government has any updates on Kition’s plan to take legal action, the minister said it didn’t. “Each company has its rights based on the law and constitution. Therefore, it is up to the company what it will do next.”

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