Athienou municipality should be included in the state housing scheme of 2023 as its exclusion is unfair, its Mayor Kyriacos Kareklas said on Thursday.

In a letter to Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, the mayor said the first ever government housing scheme which began years ago was implemented in Athienou due to it being a disadvantaged area, particularly affected by the Turkish invasion in 1974. It left 75 per cent of the land occupied, the road to Nicosia closed and residents struggling over the years.

Conditions for development due to the aforementioned disadvantages and isolation, deemed it a disadvantaged area, Kareklas said.

Denia, Mammari and Troulli were added to the scheme due to similar issues. However “we consider it to be a discrimination and completely unacceptable” that Athienou was not included, the mayor’s letter outlined.

“We ask for this unfair decision to be receded and have it be included in the disadvantaged areas for the 2023 housing scheme. It was the first to be approved, then others were added. To keep it outside of the scheme is, in our opinion, a huge mistake.”

The letter was also sent to House President Annita Demetriou.