We can tell you it takes a lot of courage to do the job with the intention not to provide profit for themselves, but to improve and operate one of the local land marks in Limassol.
We report from time to time in this paper about our disappointment of a sector of the younger generation that it is not all the best. The crime rate is particularly high during the ages of 16-30 years old and most crimes have drugs as the underlying factor, problematic families and even the pampering of parents, who, by spoiling their children they think then (the children) that they can get away with almost everything. The football hooligans and the throwing of eggs on passing tourist buses at Pafos are some examples. Yet the new requirements for ID of the attendants has reduced this. The hooligans percentage is not large but it is there to be noted. Education standards in high schools is not what it should be, admitting that our education system with the aged and out of date teachers (with their primary concern the money) being one of the primarily reasons (teachers etc are appointed based on a waiting list, with no other major criteria other than the waiting time, with most teachers reaching 45-50 years old by the time they are invited to teach. This low standard even had the Czech Republic and Germany to warn Cyprus that they will not recognize the school leaving certificates for admission to their universities, whereas even the Cyprus University is admitting students with very low grades with approximately 20% of the newcomers scoring less than 50% of the minimum score set by the same university. The number of qualified Cypriot people is very high, but one must also examine their standard, whereas the lack of knowledge of the professional English language is most shocking (even those who attend local English teaching colleges and universities).
Alas, there is a ray of hope for this country which has as a basis part of the younger generation. If one examines who attended the Syrian refugees, he will note that most volunteers were young people. The more recent one and regarding real estate matters however is a group of young people mainly architects/engineers, town planners who got together in order to clean up an ex shopping mall project, out of use for years in Limassol, all sorts of debris, from dead pigeons to syringe etc. The clean up using their own labor fully equipped with mops, buckets, cleaning chemicals etc is progressing. The project known as Fysco Lotus Plaza originally designed as a hotel and later converted into a shopping mall accommodating over 150 units, failed in its operation and left for the last 20 years to its fate. We, as an Office, managed the development/sale of this project into a shopping mall and notwithstanding its initial success, the “curse” (the non payment of the common expenses) ended the project to fail, in addition the lack of attraction of magnet outlets.
We have participated partly in the effort of these young people idea, of turning the mall into a young people business hub. The idea was to have at the basement level one large supermarket and retail with low cost clothing outlets, the ground/upper level with small offices with common entrance and common reception and secretariat and the first level small retails/restaurants/pubs etc for uses suitable for the younger generation.
This and other ideas by this young group is under discussion in order to make the Fysco Lotus Plaza “viable” by inviting investors/users/existing owners to turn the project as a young people business hub. We can tell you it takes a lot of courage to do the job (with no charge) with the intention not to provide profit for themselves, but to improve and operate one of the local land marks in Limassol. The group offers various initiatives such as inviting Limassol people to visit and note the change and this in hope to attract interest. To this end the Municipality of Limassol is all for it and this is most positive. This exercise however it is not as straightforward as it may sound. The units are owned by various people, part of the units are under tenancy, whereas evicting some remaining illegal occupiers and others will require legal procedures. We believe that it is a model exercise requiring Governmental and possibly E.U. assistance, both in terms of funding and legal guidance – most difficult (and at the end it did not materialize to date).
These young and romantic people must not be left on their own however and Governmental assistance is required, especially by the Ministry of Labor, that of the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Interior. The use of a fund coming possibly from E.U., will be a major boost as well as the assistance of Sir Stelios H”Ioannou foundation.
A generation of young people to be proud of and an example for others to follow.