By Lizzy Ioannidou
Social media users this week hit out at ruling Disy following news that the space where the recently demolished home of the late former President Glafcos Clerides once stood would be used as a parking lot for a private clinic.
Coming under particularly heavy fire, Disy, the party Clerides founded in 1976, told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday they could not interfere as this was a personal family matter.
The demolition of the house in central Nicosia which was home to two historic political figures and which was built by Glafcos’ father Ioannis Clerides in 1949, on the street that also bears the latter’s name, angered many online users.
One asked: “Couldn’t Katy donate the house to Disy? Couldn’t Disy, with so many millionaires, afford to purchase the house at a symbolic cost? What about the President, or the ministers, who are also wealthy businessmen? Why such an urgency to rename the Larnaca airport to Glafcos Clerides if his political spawns couldn’t care less?”
The house was sold last year by Glafcos’ daughter Katy Clerides to the private gynaecology clinic Isis due to her inability to maintain it.
Former Disy MP Andreas Themistokleous criticised the party for allowing events to unfold as they did: “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Akel for turning the home of their late general-secretary Ezekias Papaioannou into a museum for Akel. We, however, or rather our leadership under Averof Neophytou, allowed the family home of the founder and first president of Disy, and former President of the Republic, to be sold, demolished, and turned into a parking lot! Shame on us.”
Disy spokesperson Demetris Demetriou said on Wednesday: “Disy could not interfere with the selling or the demolition of the house, as it was private property passed down to Katy Clerides. What happened with the house was her personal right and individual choice, something that we must respect.”
Demetriou added: “The house had many structural problems for years and was slowly falling apart. Even engineers suggested that the house be demolished because it could not be maintained.”
With regards to the negative reactions in public opinion following the demolition, Demetriou asked that the public “understand that no one would want to sell or demolish their home if they had another choice.”