Cyprus Mail

Elam proposals to ‘close loopholes’ in migrant laws

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Despite government promises, the situation has not improved for residents of the Kokkinotrimithia area – hosting a reception centre for asylum seekers – MPs said on Tuesday.

The House ad hoc committee on demographics visited the area and spoke with local authorities about the ongoing impact of having the facility in the vicinity.

According to committee chair Linos Papayiannis (Elam), beyond an increased police presence in the area nothing else has changed.

Local authorities informed MPs that residents continue to feel insecure, while problems persist relating to “traffic, cleanliness and their [asylum seekers] overall behaviour.”

Among other things, Papayiannis said, asylum seekers continue to “violate private property.”

Qualifying his statement, he added: “By that I don’t mean burglaries, but rather they barge into homes undisturbed, behave rudely and often aggressively.”

Some asylum seekers also drive around in cars, causing traffic problems.

Problems were worse in the afternoon and at nighttime.

Having surveyed the situation, Papayiannis said, his party will soon table two legislative proposals, one relating to demographics, the other to migration, aiming to “close loopholes” in current legislation.

Asked what, in his opinion, was the single largest issue at stake, the Elam MP said: “The alteration of demographics… which is visible across the country, from Paralimni to Paphos.”

The Pournara facility in Kokkinotrimithia is operating at well above capacity, as each day dozens more migrants arrive in the Republic seeking asylum. Local residents complain of crime and drug use among migrants loitering outside the centre.

In July residents of the affected communities staged a protest outside the parliament building, haranguing MPs for what they perceived as indifference to their plight regarding the influx of irregular migrants.


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