A SPECIAL ministerial committee will be formulating incentives geared at Greek Cypriots who wish to buy or sell property in the occupied areas, the government announced on Wednesday.
The appointment of the committee was approved by the cabinet. The new panel has also been cleared to submit its proposals to the relevant subcommittee at the National Council, deputy government spokesman Viktoras Papadopoulos said.
Its purpose is to tackle the ever-increasing applications by Greek Cypriot refugees to the immoveable property commission (IPC) operated by Turkey in the north, said Papadopoulos.
Earlier reports said the interior ministry was drafting a bill that would allow the sale of occupied properties without imposing any taxes, such as capital gains tax or transfer tax, on the buyer or seller.
The bill would allow for the purchase or sale of Greek Cypriot properties in the north only between Greek Cypriots.
The government is concerned that, particularly due to the current dire financial situation, more and more refugees are willing to relinquish the rights to their properties in the north in exchange for compensation that often amounts to a fraction of the real value of the property.
Some analysts suggest the IPC serves a political goal, providing an inexpensive method to avert costly penalties following Greek Cypriot applications to the European Court of Human
Rights, while also encouraging an exchange of properties between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, north and south of the divide, further cementing the ‘bizonal’ nature of any future settlement.