Interview with the mayor of one of the most popular among the Russian-speaking population of Cyprus cities - Limassol. Nikos Nikolailis took office recently. But priorities are set, objectives identified, and their implementation has already begun ...
- You have had experience as a minister, so you have a general idea of the situation on the island. What, in your opinion, should be done in Limassol, in the near future?
- First of all, taking this opportunity, I should note that we are very proud that many Russian-speaking inhabitants of Cyprus have chosen for life and work Limassol, making it their second home. We highly appreciate their contribution to our life, culture, economy. And we would like to make your life, as well as ours, as best as possible. I am honored to be the mayor of Limassol. This is the city that I love. He has a decent past and a great future. It is a very warm and hospitable city. A city with an open heart. In many respects it is connected with the location: Limassol is a port city, it was the gateway to Cyprus for people from different cultures, with different world views and traditions. Therefore, Limassol has become exactly as we know it now. We must preserve what we have. At the same time, we must try to make the city better in all respects. In economics, construction, culture, entertainment, environmental protection ... We believe that it is the improvement of the level of everyday life of citizens that can make people happier, and started by paying attention to the surrounding area of Limassol. After all, the city is not only a beautiful embankment, a developed center and a marina with the Old Port. It is necessary to look and that is behind a beautiful facade. We want to plant some plots with trees, build new pedestrian and bicycle paths. And thus create opportunities for greater socialization of people so that they can spend their free time, walk, play sports. This is one of our main goals.
At the same time we look, how to implement new projects. In particular, to upgrade the center municipality Ayia Fila. We want to improve the roads connecting the districts of Limassol together. For example, Miltonos, Agios Nikolaos or mane Digeni. We plan to pay attention to the symbols of our city, such as Heroes Square, Enaerios district, the city park, the zoo, the GEO region. Make them better, more attractive.
In addition, our goal is to improve the structure of the municipality so that it is more effective. For this, it may be necessary to reorganize some services. In our plans, the creation of a partner network consisting of the social partners of the mayoralty. I mean organizations, groups of people, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, universities, with whom you can create a partnership for the exchange of services, ideas. We must organize this so that everything works for the good of the city. I'm sure that Limassol is on the right track, and we want to do everything possible to just stick to it.
- What are the practical steps you plan to take, being mayor?
- Part of the plan to modernize the city's road system is already in the implementation stage. In particular, work is underway on the site, connecting the Old Port area with the coastal road - street Franklin Roosevelt. There is work in the western part of the city. It is necessary to improve the roads, squares and sidewalks. Work on the street Agios Filakseos will help improve the traffic situation.
We plan to develop the western part of Limassol. We already know that there will be built a casino resort style, it will be the basis for the modernization of the district. We also think of some less grandiose projects which will contribute to improving urban infrastructure. I want to become a city of Limassol with a good economy, culture and high quality of life. This is what we want to achieve by working with the public.
- Why Limassol was more attractive to business than other places in Cyprus?
- There are many reasons for this. Over the past few years, the city has, indeed, largely developed. Limassol has traditionally been the center of financial activity, industry, tourism, services. We have good legal and audit companies. There are places that attract tourists. This is the marina, the embankment, the Old Port. However, the mentality of the inhabitants of Limassol played an important role. People who easily perceive innovations try to apply them in practice. And this is very important for the development of the city. It attracted new people with new ideas. Great luck for Limassol was the participation of Russian citizens. Since the mid-nineties, they have given new life to the financial system of the city, attracting investment here, moving to Cyprus with their families and employees of their companies.
- How Limassol Municipality deals with foreign residents of the city?
- First of all, we want to inform everyone that the municipality of Limassol is also their municipality. However, we want to be friends not only in words, but also in deeds, helping to solve any problems with which they turn to us. We try to build bridges between our municipality and the communities of foreigners permanently residing in the city. The Russian community is especially important for us. I met with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Cyprus Stanislav Osadchyk. We talked about ways to strengthen friendly ties, about cooperation with the organizations of our Russian friends in Cyprus. We want to help you promote the events that you organize in Cyprus. To make them more popular among Cypriots. That Russians actively participated in our events. That the existing relations between our peoples are only strengthened.
Born November 2 1953, in Limassol. After school and military service, he studied in the United States. Master's degree received at Dartmouth College. Fellowship in the specialty "Electromechanics" graduated from the University of Southern California. In 1978-1981 he worked in Greece. He was project manager of the State Power Company.
Returning home, he worked in the Electric Company of Cyprus. From February to March 2008 2010 years was Minister of Communications and Works. Among his projects - the introduction of a new public transport system, the completion of a new tax structure for commercial shipping, full coverage of Cyprus and the emergence of the Internet network on the island of digital TV channels.
In May 2011, he was elected Member of Parliament from the party DISI. In December 2016, he was elected mayor of Limassol. Married, two children.