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Cyprus

Pensioner calls off hunger strike after Hasikos assurances

Demetris Constantinou on hunger strike in Paphos

Demetris Constantinou, 65, a resident of Chlorakas on Tuesday began an indefinite hunger strike outside a Paphos school because he said the government owes him hundreds of thousands of euros for land acquisition and hasn’t paid a cent in 16 years.

But some four hours later, at around 10am he called it off after Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos gave him personal assurances his case would be examined “within the day”.

The 65-year-old claims he is still waiting to be compensated for land that belonged to him on which the Panayia Theoskepasti gymnasium in Paphos was built.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Constantinou had urged the government to review the matter as soon as possible because he and his family were facing serious financial problems.

In a written statement later on Tuesday, the interior ministry said that the property as a whole had been expropriated in 2001 in order to construct a new high school west of Paphos with a road that would serve the school. .

The department of lands and surveys according to the law, sent documents with the amount of compensation to the registered owners because outside of the section used for the school there were houses that had been sold to several persons who have filed title deeds, the ministry said.

In order for the compensation to be paid, the written consent of the other property owners was needed as to the distribution of the amount among them.

“There were successive meetings in the department to resolve the issue which proved fruitless and the co-owners have not responded,” the ministry said, adding that the department of lands and surveys referred the case to the court in 2011 to finalise the amount of compensation and the case is still pending at the Paphos district court.

“The procedure will be completed if the co-owners agree on the distribution of the amount of compensation,” the ministry said.

 



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