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Andros Karayiannis, Mayor of Deryneia: It is time that European citizens know more about the efforts of the elected persons in local governments

“Our goal is to make everything better and easier for the daily life of our people.”
  • jeudi 16 août 2018 13h00
  • Author Monika Dimitrova
Medium andros karayiannis
Source: Andros Karayiannis

How would you describe Deryneia briefly? What do you want our audience to know about it?

Deryneia is a town of 8.000 inhabitants and it lies in the south-eastern part of Cyprus.  It is very close to Famagusta, Paralimni-Protaras and Ayia Napa.  Deryneia is well known because of its museums, the medieval churches, the farmer’s market, the friendliness of its people and the promotion of Culture, Tradition and Hospitality. It is also a place where people from different nationalities live together in a safe environment. We are very sensitive about environmental issues, animal welfare and children’s education.   

Deryneia is very attractive destination for tourists, with what you attract them every year? Tell more about the Pancyprian Festival Strawberry.

Deryneia is part of Cyprus mainland and it is located in a short distance from the coast. Deryneia is an attractive destination for those who want to experience real Cypriot life and traditional way of living. We organize many Cultural events every year, but the most famous is the Pancyprian Strawberry Festival. It is organized since the 1990s and it attracts more than 15.000 visitors from all around the world. People can come to Deryneia to meet Tradition and Local Life. Our farmers use many progressive techniques in order to satisfy the strawberry lovers offering to them fresh strawberries, strawberry liqueur, ice cream, juice and sweets the whole year around.

The web site of the municipality is very developed and attractive. I was impressed that you are open to suggestions and even complaints from the inhabitants. What do citizens most often write to you and do you take into account their opinion?

Every opinion of the citizens is taken seriously into account and we try to solve their complaints. We have set up a system, where all complaints are delivered and they are distributed to the prober clerk in order to satisfy the people.

The complaints are about cleanliness, garbage collection and bruises. We try to respond quickly, but sometimes people have to be more patient, because we are a small municipality and we have less than 20 people (staff).     

What other good practices you have introduced in the municipality?

We have also introduced the Door to Door recycling of plastic and paper, the creation of parks for dog owners in order to take their pets for a walk, composting at schools and the open dialogue with the citizens. The Mayor meets people in his office every week and we get together with people in the cafeterias, restaurants, museums, the squares and we socialize together. 

You bring young people closer to the municipality through the active participation in cultural events or athletic competitions. How do you manage to keep the young people in the city?

It is very difficult to keep young people in the town because of unemployment and migration. Even though we try to be very close to the young people, to speak to them, to listen about their worries and suggestions in order to find solutions. We are very happy that young people return to Deryneia after they have finished their studies and they settle down in order to build their own family and start new challenges. Many young people have their own business or they are employed in the primary sector like in agriculture. The roots of Deryneia are set deep in the red soil of our area and our young people know exactly how to work the precious land with their own hands and they become very creative and progressive. 

What do you think about a unified platform for European municipalities and its main goal to make and keep European citizens better informed about what is taking place in the European Union?

It is time that European citizens know more about the efforts of the elected persons in local governments. Our goal is to make everything better and easier for the daily life of our people. One can learn from each other and Deryneia has lot to learn from other towns and cities. We are looking forward to co-operating with other municipalities because we are all one big family and our family is our people. When the people are happy we are happy too and this gives us the guarantee to keep up the good work for the benefit of our people. We should all stand together and keep our people in the epicentre of our efforts.     

Find out more about Deryneia here