Cyprus Mail

Refugees seek government compensation for occupied property

THE government should compensate land owners who lost their property during the Turkish invasion so as they don’t resort to the Immovable property commission (IPC) in the north, said a spokesman from the occupied areas land owners association yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference of the newly formed initiative group occupied area land owners association, spokesman Panikos Panayides suggested that the government suspends the land owners’ debt for a period of two to five years, provide legal counseling for those who already went to the IPC so they can get their property back and finally compensate the owners for the loss of their property.

Panayides said that money to cover the cost of the group’s suggestion would be covered from profits from the exploitation of the natural gas reserves.

“The compensation can either be in cash or in stocks of the natural gas company, or government bonds. We are certain of the success of this proposition, provided that the financial tools used are guaranteed by the state,” Panayides said, adding that it was the government’s duty to protect refugees.

Asked on whether the people who resorted to the IPC should be considered traitors, Panayides answered “of course not”.

“Every citizen of a well-governed nation should have the right to exploit his property in the way he deems best. In the current financial climate, a lot of refugees, in their desperation, had to resort to the IPC. This had a negative effect in our negotiation efforts to solve the Cyprus problem,” the spokesman said.

The initiative group’s proposal will be delivered to all political parties he said.

Asked whether the proposal was feasible in the current financial climate, Panayides answered that the groups’ proposal was “applicable, practical and resolves a lot of problems for the Republic”.

Charalambos Fousias, from the Akanthou village land owners association (which is located in the occupied area) said that if exploiting the natural gas was not possible then the government should tax large property owners.

“All money collected could then be put in a solidarity fund to stop people from resorting to the immovable property commission,” Fousias suggested.


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