Cyprus Mail

Government will continue to support those in the Karpas, Maronite villages


Presidential Commissioner Fotis Fotiou on Monday said the government would continue to support Greek Cypriots living in certain areas in the north by facilitating their employment and providing incentives for young couples to resettle in their occupied villages.

Forty-eight years after the invasion around 245 people, mostly elderly, remain in villages in the Karpas peninsula and near Kyrenia, where they were previously effectively stranded. Following Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s 2017 decision to allow Maronites to return to all their villages in the north, some young couples have been encouraged to return, bringing what Fotiou called a “breath of life” to the region.

Around 345 people have resettled in the area, of which 50 went to Rizokarpaso, 10 to Ayia Triada; 260 to Kormakitis and 25 to the Karpasia.

Those living in enclaved areas receive food and other basic necessities weekly through the UN in Karpasia and once every two weeks in the Maronite villages. Free medical coverage through Gesy is also provided.

Fotiou explained the provision of housing is of particular concern and importance, saying that the first such project, lasting three years, was completed in 2020. It provided financial assistance for the repair and maintenance of homes. A second project, aimed specifically at young families, is underway.

Three schools currently operate in Rizokarpaso, a kindergarten, a primary and a secondary. Fotiou noted that there were some problems with the schools’ operation, namely, that the ‘authorities’ in the north censored certain books and teachers.

“These certainly create problems in the smooth functioning of schools. On the basis of the Third Vienna Agreement, human rights related to education are being violated,” the commissioner said.

One main goal, Fotiou added, is the opening of a kindergarten and primary school in Kormakitis, which has seen the biggest influx of young re-settlers, stating that collaboration between the ministry of education and the Maronite community leader had led to all necessary arrangements for the school to re-operate as of 2023-24.

The government has also invested €450,000 in a Kormakitis sporting facility, including a stadium; and in a futsal field for the Rizokarpaso school, built with help from the Cyprus Sports Organisation, costing €80,000. School buildings and churches have been renovated and farmers’ subsidies, amounting to €950,000, have been made available in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture.

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

Winners of Stelios bicommunal awards announced

Tom Cleaver

Monks’ lawyers demand halt to church probe

Nikolaos Prakas

Mothers of Cypriot earthquake dead meet Turkish justice minister

Tom Cleaver

Local govt reform ‘on the right track’

Tom Cleaver

Health minister hails year one achievements

Jonathan Shkurko

Cyprus sees ‘one of the largest increases’ in renewable energy share

Tom Cleaver