By Lizzy Ioannidou
A grassroots Limassol-based movement against evictions warned on Monday against striking alliances with other initiatives, particularly with the far-right political party Elam.
“We need to have the most vulnerable groups in mind when dealing with issues of evictions and homelessness, and that includes migrants, who are an undesirable group, to say the least, for Elam,” the coordinator of the Limassol-based movement against evictions, Giorgos Ktistis, told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.
While all initiatives are highlighting the need for social housing as part of mounting efforts against the skyrocketing rents and their social consequences in Limassol, the groups ‘Limassol4all’, organisers of the October 27 demonstration and the movement against evictions, have denounced the affiliation between right-wing Elam and the Limassol-based ‘movement for the right to shelter’, organisers of the latest demonstration on Saturday
Tents in the area were occupied by both the homeless – including a family with three children – and citizens who wanted to symbolically show their support, while the demonstrators called on the president to listen to their demands and put an end to the problem of skyrocketing rents.
In response to the call for the demonstration which took place in front of Limassol’s district administration on Saturday, the initiative ‘Limassol4all’ announced that “we support every mobilisation against high rents and the expulsion of the less well-off from the city centre.”
“Nevertheless, we think that it’s unfortunate that the organisers, as part of their meetings with political forces, chose to also meet with the neo-Nazi Elam party. Contacts with groups that actively promote hatred against city residents of different descent, nationality and religion weaken the common struggle for the right to the city,” the announcement continued.
Coordinator of the movement for the right to shelter, Lefteris Georgiou, told the Cyprus Mail that “we have contacted all political parties, not just Elam, since every form of assistance within parliament in light of the issue is imperative.”
On his part, Zenonas Nicolaides, the legal representative of the movement under fire responded to the announcement by Limassol4all on Facebook by saying that “the movement requested meetings with all parliamentary parties and the church…and Elam is one of these.”
“So far, Elam is the only political party which has truly provided for the Cypriot citizen with actions and not with words,” Nicolaides continued, adding that “with the augmentation of our social problems, we must demand that all political parties become a little bit more like Elam.”
In view of the anti-immigration rhetoric of Elam, Ktistis said that it was necessary to keep such politics outside of the movements with a pronounced social purpose, claiming that “they need to decide, either they will beat them, or they will house them, and you can’t have both.”