Europe and funding highlight our roots and safeguard our national origins, European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said on Friday, during his guided tour in Zouchouri Square in Larnaca.

In his statements, Schinas congratulated the Mayor and his team for the “very impressive work”, adding that “in this fourth visit to Cyprus during my mandate, I wanted to get to know the very important work that has been done in Larnaca, the restoration of historical monuments with Community funding, because culture is part of my portfolio.”

At the same time he wished “Larnaca to succeed in becoming the European Capital of Culture for 2030”, adding that “we will help as much as we can in this effort” and congratulated all responsible parties.

Replying to a question on EU funding, Schinas said that “as is the system in Cyprus, we have both the traditional Cohesion Fund and the resources for the Turkish Cypriot community, since many restorations were funded. The result is that the European taxpayer supports and highlights our roots,” he said.

He also noted that “as we approach the European elections and the Europhobic and extreme voices of some people who want to convince us that Europe is destroying our roots are growing, I invite them to come to Larnaca to see that Europe and funding are highlighting our roots, they are safeguarding our national origins.”

Greek Cypriot Co-Chairman of the Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage Sotos Ktoris expressed his gratitude to the European Commission “for its unwavering support and generous aid which over the last 15 years has allowed for the conservation of over 140 monuments across the island’s territory.”

“This is an effort that does not just contribute to the preservation of the monuments bequeathed to us by history,” he noted.

He also underlined the “crucial role that the European Union plays in Cyprus, through the support it gives us, in promoting conditions of peace and reconciliation between the communities of the island.”

For his part, Mayor of Larnaca Andreas Vyras expressed his satisfaction for the presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission in the city, adding that without these funds “it would be impossible to improve the quality of life of our fellow citizens, to beautify and change our city.”

He noted that in recent years “Larnaca has received more than 70 million euros for important projects and works with which we have solved important daily problems of the city, such as flooding”, adding that several other projects have been carried out which have strengthened the culture and economy of the city.

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