Like every summer, representatives of the FoP met on 29 August 2013 with the Mayor of Paros, Mr Vlachoyannis, and discussed major current issues, such as the progress of the new airport and its prospects, development and environment (including potential threats from large scale developments that could be allowed under new legislation and big projects, and the role of the new Environmental Observatory in protecting the character of the island), small scale improvements (e.g for the benefit of pedestrians), the state of local health services, etc.
On the 29th of August representatives of the “Friends of Paros” visited the Mayor of Paros, Mr Vlachoyiannis, in order to discuss progress on important issues such as:
The new airport: The Mayor confirmed that the new runway will have a total length of 1,400m (and not 2,000m, as some rumours insisted) and will be ready for September 2014. The technical studies for the new terminal and the tender documents have not yet been launched and consequently the new airport will not be operational before 2017.
Environment: General Development Plan of Paros: The FoP have contributed during its preparation and the plan came into effect last year. The Mayor said that there have been minor objections, for instance, concerning the ban of new swimming pools. The FoP could accept minor adjustments, e.g. self-sufficient new pools (rain water storage), but they would not support a major reorientation of the plan.
New law 4178/13: The Mayor does not expect that big hotels/resorts will be built. Although this could be legally possible, the small size of available plots would make it that near-impossible.
Environmental Observatory: The FoP informed the Mayor on the launch of the observatory and its potential contribution towards maintaining the Cycladic characteristics of the island.
Water: The desalination plant at Parasporos is not yet connected to the network; due to its high operational cost it could only work during the summer peak period. The FoP expressed to the Mayor their concern about the absence of a strategic water plan (construction of small dams, desalination linked to renewable energy and limitation of wasting scarce water resources).
Commercial port: The Ministry of Development has commissioned the preparation of a master plan of a new commercial port at “Kaminaki” (between Molos and Piso Livadi.)
Restructuring the Parikia water front: The FoP have expressed to the Mayor their great concern regarding the restoration of the Cycladic character of the water front. A plan for a new passenger terminal is under study by the Port Authority.
Furthermore the FoP have stressed the value of the ancient marble quarries, the ancient cemetery and the Archaeological museum and asked the Mayor to put forward concrete proposals. They have also requested that good use should be made of the sculptures that were created as part of the 2011 Symposium.
Other works: The FoP have insisted on the undertaking of several civil works, such as sidewalks in Naoussa and the ring road of Parikia, whose cost is quite low, but would greatly increase safety and convenience for pedestrians, both residents and visitors.
Medical services: The Medical Centre possesses almost all specialisations; however some functioning problems still persist. The small “medical” emergency plane remains landed, but will fly again once an accompanying doctor has been appointed. The nearby island of Naxos could profit also from this facility. A new private medical centre will open soon in Naoussa. The FoP have once more highlighted the importance of voluntary work.