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Cyprus

Dedicated office to deal with foreign workers’ issues being set up (Updated)

Media reports had said President Anastasiades had travelled on the Saudi businessman’s jet in August 2015, a few months after the Saudi was granted citizenship

A new section is to be created within the office of the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights (Ombudswoman) dedicated to examining complaints concerning foreign workers, President Nicos Anastasiades revealed on Thursday evening.

Asked whether the state owes an apology to the families of foreign domestic workers who were murdered, the president said: “Without a doubt. And already we have taken steps so that – and this is sad – the remains of the victims are repatriated at government expense.”

In addition, psychological support is being offered to affected families.

Anastasiades was also asked whether he was mulling a government reshuffle, in the wake of the resignation of justice minister Ionas Nicolaou.

“No,” was his laconic reply.

In a statement on Thursday, the Palace announced the president would be meeting with a high commissioner and consuls of countries outside the EU with a substantial number of people working in Cyprus as domestic helpers.

The aim of the meeting, according to the statement, is so that the president can express his regrets for the victims of the heinous crimes and “an apology on behalf of the state for possible omissions in the handling of the cases.”

Anastasiades will also inform them of measures the government intends to put in place to strengthen the mechanisms and procedures addressing complaints these workers may have.

 

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