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Akamas leaders protest cabinet compensation reversal

The Akamas peninsula

Akamas community leaders and landowners handed a memo to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides on Friday protesting the cabinet’s reversal of a previous decision to compensate landowners who are unable to develop their property.

The memo, signed by the community leaders of Neo Chorio, Droushia, Androlikos and Kathikas, will be forwarded to President Nicos Anastasiades and Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis.

Cabinet voted to overhaul of any existing plans regarding the peninsula on Wednesday.

The signatories of the memo disagree with the decision.

“In particular, the annulment of the April 2009 decision to compensate landowners, for them to get land in exchange and the transfer of building coefficients,” they said.

The 2009 cabinet decision offered a theoretical framework of options available to private landowners – swaps with other government properties, expropriating the land for fair compensation, or transferring building coefficients to another property.

The council of ministers decided on the basis of the attorney-general’s decision not to give compensation to landowners, as in the case of Amathus, as doing so would have violated a clear legislative framework that does not allow this.

The community leaders, however, say the situation cannot be compared, since in Amathus the building coefficient was raised from 10 to 20 per cent at the time of the decision, which was considered satisfactory by the owners, while regarding Akamas the idea was to lower the coefficient.

Ministers said that apart from the fact that legislation does not allow for compensations, those under discussion do not correspond to the real value of the properties.

The Akamas group said the government is now treating the Akamas properties as though they have no value, and needs to bring back the estimations of 1988 to 1989.

“Otherwise, the government has to explain to communities and affected owners how they are going to compensate them for the 30 years they have been deprived of the right to develop their properties,” the memo said.

The cabinet decision also puts a hold on any action regarding urban planning, management protection measures and the determination of the Natura 2000 area in Akamas, at least until the end of the year.

A new plan for the peninsula is expected to be ready by the end of 2018. The interior minister, experts and members of the communities are expected to meet and come up with a comprehensive strategic national plan, taking into account socio-economic aspects.

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