Cyprus Mail

Paphos mayor says 300 people to be evicted following balcony collapses

balcony 2
File photo: Balcony collapse in Paphos

Around 300 migrants are set to be evicted from buildings on Poseidonos Avenue in Paphos after two balconies on the same street collapsed last week, injuring five people, three of whom remain hospitalised.

The decision was taken by Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos, who met the town’s municipal council on Monday night.

Speaking to Politis radio on Tuesday, Phedonos said the planned evictions are the only solution to the current state of affairs in certain old neighbourhoods of Paphos, adding that the legislation regulating the issue is currently incomplete and does not provide alternatives.

“The responsibility of providing a safe living environment in apartments of old buildings lies with the owners,” he said.

“That is why I believe the legislation is incomplete. There is no general plan aimed at upgrading old buildings and it is impossible for the municipality to check hundreds of them.”

Phedonos said that almost all buildings deemed unsafe were built before 1994, when the anti-seismic law in Cyprus, which requires adherence to strict safety criteria, was passed in the House.

“With the eviction order for the 300 migrants, I intend to test the law,” the mayor added.

Phedonos also explained that any municipal officer presenting an eviction order must be accompanied by at least one police officer.

However, before proceeding with the eviction, an alternative residence needs to be secured.

“That responsibility lies within the interior ministry and it is important that all families who receive an eviction order have an alternative provided for them.”

Throughout the past week, Phedonos and the interior ministry have blamed each other over the presence of unsuitable and dangerous living quarters in Paphos.

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