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‘Unacceptable small groups taking law into their own hands’

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Police officers in front of the notorious Chlorakas complex

Cyprus’ two largest political parties on Tuesday further condemned the violence in Chlorakas after a second night of clashes between Greek Cypriots and migrants, as Akel argued the government has a duty to ensure the safety of all residents in the Paphos village.

“It is completely unacceptable that small fascist groups and hooded individuals are taking the law in their hands, while the matter is politically being taken advantage of,” Disy said.

The party also condemned asylum seekers that were fanning the flames. “Such phenomena by those who show no respect for the country and the local communities that host them cannot be tolerated either.”

It called for justice to be served and those responsible for creating the fracas to be met with suitable punishments.

Akel said it was important to question how the situation got so bad. “The previous Disy government refused to deal with the situation in Chlorakas. It was known for years that the housing complex was in a revolting state,” but it was left to be while a xenophobic rhetoric was encouraged, that fostered the rise of far-right groups.

“This encapsulates the philosophy of the migration policy for the past 10 years.”

The party called for speedier asylum application processes, integration for all migrants living in the country, humane infrastructure and replacing the EU Dublin regulation with a s distribution system to all member states according to the population and the capacities of country.

Meanwhile Elam, which has been criticised for instigating the attacks against the migrants, said it condemned all forms of violence.

“The responsibility for what has happened in Chlorakas lies with those whose policies have allowed the state to be paralysed and Cyprus to be taken over by illegal immigrants,” it said.

It called for “mass deportations” and stripping all funds dedicated towards the migration issue. The far-right party also said checkpoints should be closed immediately and “unrelenting police patrols” be introduced.

NGO Kisa said the incidents “by Elam neonazi groups” were reminiscent of Golden Dawn in a “well organised and well-coordinated planned attack against migrants.” The NGO accused police of knowing about this ahead of time but failing to do enough to tackle it.

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