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Calls increase for refugee support fund

The latest calls have come from the Famagusta Chamber of Commerce

The Famagusta Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on Friday for the creation of a fund to support refugees and compensate them for their loss of property in the north.
The call comes after discussion kicked off last week in parliament on the creation of a fund to compensate depositors and investors who lost money in the 2013 banking crisis, the chamber said.
Among those affected by the haircut are also many refugees, it said, who have been ‘victimised for the second time’.
“At the same time, we would like to point out and express our discontent over the omission of the government since to adopt measures for restoring the injustice done to the refugees, who have been deprived for 43 years of their homes and income from their property,” it said.
The state, it said, must finally assume its responsibilities and adopt measures for actual equal sharing of the burden of the Turkish invasion and occupation.
The chamber proposes the creation of a fund to compensate refugees for the loss of the use of their properties in the north. The fund, it said, could also assist financially owners of property in the north who are in need so that they are not forced to sell to the immovable property commission in the north for peanuts.
This is not the first time the issue has been brought up this week.
Markella Isaia Tsiakka, the head of the refugee group Mitrogonia, said earlier in the week on Politis radio that during a meeting with with President Nicos Anastasiades he told them there was a possibility of setting up a refugee fund.
A senior interior ministry official, however, told the Cyprus Mail on Friday that they were not informed at the moment of such a thing being part of the new policy on refugees.
Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said last month that the government was to appoint a consultancy committee to carry out a study for the overhaul of refugee legislation, which was introduced in 1991 ‘in a patchy way’.
Petrides said that the existing refugee policy may have been the most unjust state policy as it never took into account the property in the occupied areas of every refugee.
The focus of the modernised legislation, he said, should be the occupied property of refugees.

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