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Cyprus

Dromolaxia municipality claims area has become ghettoised

The municipality of Dromolaxia-Meneou on Tuesday asked for offset benefits to counterbalance the fact that people living within its boundaries cannot develop their properties or businesses, claiming the area has been “ghettoised.”

At the House refugee committee, Dromolaxia mayor Kypros Andronikou reiterated a long-standing demand for Larnaca airport to pay the local municipality a business licence fee.

Approximately 32 per cent of the airport falls within the municipalities’ boundaries.

The mayor said he has discussed the matter with the operators of the airport, who replied that they have a fees agreement directly with the state.

A fraction of the parking revenues at the airport would solve the issue, he added.

Andronikou complained of double standards: while a refugee running a small business has to pay the local municipality a business license fee, the same does not apply to the airport.

Dromolaxia hosts refugee housing estates which, because they lie on Turkish Cypriot land, deprive their occupants of title deeds.

Refugee occupants had been granted certificates of leasing under the previous administration of Demetris Christofias.

In the absence of title deeds, it was decided that leasing certificates be made available to refugees allowing them to transfer the residence to their heirs. They could also use the certificates to secure bank loans.

But according to Andronikou as it stands the certificates are essentially useless, as due to zoning arrangements local residents cannot develop their properties.

He said a large tract of land in Meneou adjacent to the airport’s runway has been assigned a zero construction coefficient, and as such is worth “nothing but air.”

Moreover, Kyprianou said, because Dromolaxia has been designated as a peri-urban area (urban outskirts) it is unable to tap EU development funds.

The refugee residents in the area have become second-class citizens, he asserted.

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