Minister reaffirms commitment to public interest at construction sector event

Minister reaffirms commitment to public interest at construction sector event

Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades underlined the government’s commitment to safeguarding public interest during his speech at the 29th annual general assembly of the Federation of Building Contractors Associations of Cyprus.

Representing the President of the Republic, Minister Vafeadis highlighted the delicate balance between strong governmental partnerships and the upholding of public interest.

In his address, Minister Vafeades was adamant about the government’s position on contractor negotiations, stating, “We will not succumb to any form of blackmail that diminishes what Cypriot citizens rightfully deserve.”

He emphasised the integrity of contractual agreements, explaining that “just as we are honest to our signature, we demand that our partners honour theirs”.

“We are excellent partners until we discern a breach in the public interest; that is the line we draw, the rights we defend, and where we will exercise our legal prerogatives,” he added.

The minister also noted the significant progress in infrastructure, revealing that 40 projects amounting to €862 million are currently underway.

This is part of a broader scope of development that has seen 84 projects, costing €248 million, completed over the last three years.

Looking ahead, Vafeades announced plans for 72 projects worth approximately €1.25 billion, set to commence over the next four years, supported by both state funds and European Union co-financing.

These developments, according to Vafeades, require “good cooperation and an understanding of the need to serve the public interest.”

He reiterated that the government remains committed to delivering these projects timely and to the specified quality, as they are funded by taxpayers’ money and “belong to the people of Cyprus.”

Further elaborating on government policies regarding contract negotiations, Vafeades reiterated the firm stance against contractual changes that could jeopardise public interest.

“First of all, as President Nicos Christodoulides has stated, Cyprus is not being blackmailed. We do not accept changes to contracts that are against the public interest,” he said.

The Minister’s presence at the event was intended to reflect the government’s ongoing commitment to cooperative relationships and to support the construction sector, which he described as vital for economic growth and enhancing citizens’ quality of life.

In closing, Vafeades acknowledged the sector’s contributions to improving working conditions and professionalism within the construction industry.

Furthermore, he highlighted the government’s pleasure in the fruitful collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, particularly in reducing accidents and promoting safety and health training for all construction workers.

Despite the challenges posed by rising construction costs, inflation, climate change, and transitions towards greener and more digital solutions, Vafeades expressed optimism.

“Together,” he concluded, “we must monitor developments and, through collaboration with all stakeholders, define strategies and implement policies that support the public interest.”

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