Groups affected by the 1974 Turkish invasion on Tuesday told the House refugees committee that more needs to be done to support them as some of them, including women raped during the war, were not included in plans for benefits.
The committee heard accounts from women who had been raped and from Prisoners of War Association president Vasos Christou, plus the head of the organisation for the rehabilitation of disabled persons and war victims Giorgos Groutides.
Christou said that initially the finance ministry said a sum of €200 would be given to them monthly for medical expenses, but that they were later informed it would be a lump sum of €2,000 a year, which would amount to approximately €160 per month.
He added that according to the Red Cross registry, there were 2,467 prisoners of war aged 14-74, who based on the updated registry now amount to 845 people.
“These are all beneficiaries of an allowance, but because the allowance is linked to the statutory pension, those who live abroad and do not receive a pension from the state, are not entitled to it,” added Christou.
Speaking after the meeting, Groutides said resistance fighters are excluded from receiving the honorary allowance, saying that “you cannot distinguish, among the people who fought for freedom and democracy in our country, whose contribution is greater.”
He added that the rules regarding the receipt of the allowance also exclude women, some of whom were raped by the army, as the agreement presumes military participation.
According to the president of the House committee Nicos Kettiros, the labour ministry has said these issues will be dealt with, and they will proceed with paying resistance fighters and women by the end of September.