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Cyprus

Amathus residents waiting 53 years for land compensation

Temple of Aphrodite Amathus

Residents of the Amathus area staged a protest outside parliament on Monday demanding compensation for their land which has been expropriated as it lies within an archaeological site.

The protest was held while inside the House interior affairs committee was discussing the issue.

Speaking to reporters later, the head of the property owners group Takis Onisiforou said the issue dates back to 1964 when the area in question was designated as an archaeological site.

Initially some 300 families were affected, while today there still remain 40 to 50 families who have yet to receive compensation for having their properties expropriated.

According to Onisiforou, the disaffected property owners are currently expecting an offer of €6 million in compensation.

This figure is not satisfactory, he added, but it is a start. The owners themselves estimate the combined value of their properties is closer to €16 million.

The total land in question still awaiting compensation is around 80 donums.

At the current rate of the state disbursing compensation, said Onisiforou, the remaining 40 to 50 families would have to wait another 30 years.

In May 2016, Amathus residents staged a protest claiming that a Russian company planned to build a major complex in the area, while their land was being expropriated by the antiquities department for humiliatingly low prices.

The area is an archaeological site containing the remnants of one of the island’s most ancient towns. Dating back to at least 1100 BC, it is linked to the cult of Aphrodite with the site containing a temple, tombs, and public baths.

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