Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos said on Tuesday Turkish Cypriot properties in the Mandria area were being mismanaged, resulting in a “multi-million-euro scandal”.

According to Phedonos, the properties in question were not used solely for housing of Greek-Cypriot refugees after the 1974 Turkish invasion but had instead been turned into areas of commercial use.

In June, parliament passed a bill that would allow for the commercial use of Turkish Cypriot properties, which was not the case before.

Before the bill was passed, properties belonging to Turkish Cypriots – and under the custody of the interior ministry since 1974 – could only be used for residential purposes.

The new law allows residents to also use the properties – in whole or in part – as business premises.

Greek Cypriot residents will be able, for instance, to open a beauty salon or operate a kiosk.

However, Phedonos said: “It is a cover up to hide the scandals that are hidden behind the management of Turkish Cypriot properties and the illegal enrichment that Greek Cypriot refugees and Greek Cypriot non-refugees have been enjoying for decades.”

He added that some of the properties in Mandria were handed to politicians who had previously held key positions.

The Paphos mayor also complained that one plot of land in which a business is housed was sublet by a refugee to an entrepreneur a few days before the submission of the bill that regulates these issues.

He added that “the same person secured a prime restaurant in Mandria square for which a complaint was also made to the police for an amount of €70,000.”

Phedonos called on Interior Minister Nicos Nouris to look into the matter.

He also requested anyone who knows anything, and especially politicians that held key positions, make public statements on the matter.

Phedonos said the scandal is far-reaching and even includes some “presidential candidates through familial channels.”