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Greek, Turkish Cypriot contractors propose joint ventures

Crumbling Ayios Kassianos school in the buffer zone that divides the two communities (Tuncer Huseyin Bagiskan)

Greek and Turkish Cypriot contractors have proposed undertaking joint projects inside the buffer zone involving reconstruction and restoration of historical buildings.

The contractors held a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday during which they recommended confidence building measures that will help the two sides come closer.

Costas Roushias, chairman of the contractors’ federation said Anastasiades appeared positive.

The recommendations include the reconstruction of Varosha, the participation of contractors in the technical committees for the Cyprus problem, as well as the creation of a helpdesk for Greek and Turkish Cypriot professionals inside the buffer zone, near the Ledra Palace hotel in Nicosia.

Roushias said the president “was very positive” about the committees and thought that work in the buffer zone was a good start.

He said they planned to draft a list of buildings that needed immediate reconstruction.

Roushias said EU funds could be used.

Regarding Varosha, one of the main issues, contractors want work to be undertaken by Greek and Turkish Cypriot joint ventures but they acknowledged that it would be difficult to exclude foreign companies due to EU rules.

“We want the main part to belong to Cypriots,” Roushias said.

The head of the Turkish Cypriot association of building contractors, Cafer Gurcafer said the main objective of the meeting was to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem, which will bring about a lot of opportunities.


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