Following a vote last month where the municipal council barely got enough votes to block energy companies from extending their contracts at Larnaca port, Louroutziatis is trying to get a revote.
The Larnaca mayor argued that the municipal council ought to revisit the issue in light of new developments. Louroutziatis cited talk about a national strategy on energy, tourism, and even a prospect of setting a University of Cyprus satellite programme in his town, which he said were all reasons to have another round of discussions.
But councillors representing opposition parties walked out of a meeting on Monday, making it impossible to have a discussion or take another vote.
On Wednesday, Louroutziatis went on state television to say publicly that he is inviting companies ENI, Noble, and Total to come in anyway and hold discussions. He said the Town Hall is open for business as long as this won’t have a negative impact on tourism planning.
As Louroutziatis fights to keep Larnaca open for business, ExxonMobil already requested last month official authorisation to begin dismantling a big part of its facilities near the Larnaca port.
The request came only a week after the Municipality rejected extension requests by French Total and Italian ENI regarding the use of support services provided by MEDSERV for their offshore hydrocarbons exploration activities.
The council’s negative vote in February was sparked by protests from activists who have opposed any industrial activity in Larnaca.
But others have responded with protests, saying kicking the oil companies out would mean that people would lose jobs.
Transport Minister Marios Demetriades also weighed in on the issue when he pointed out on Wednesday that companies...