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Finance ministry files complaint over illegal monastery raffle

finance ministry 1
File photo: Finance ministry

A complaint was filed by the finance ministry to police over a raffle being carried out to build an illegal monastery in the environmentally protected Natura 2000 area of Cape Greco, it emerged on Thursday.

The issue was first noted on Wednesday, when Green Party leader Giorgos Perdikis posted a picture online of a raffle circulating in the Famagusta area to help fund construction works of the controversial Ayios Ephraim and Ayia Aikaterini monastery.

One violation is that the raffle does not list the name of the person doing the initiative. The other violation is that raffles and fundraisers for the construction of monasteries are not allowed to be carried out without proper approval.

The Constantia-Famagusta Bishopric has already been informed of the violations carried with the raffle, administrative officer of the finance ministry Michalis Papadopoulos said while speaking to Alpha TV on Thursday.

“As shown on the raffle ticket, the publisher is not specified. When a raffle ticket is issued, an association or commission is named and is required to be named. Here we have a raffle that is both a bit of a raffle and a bit of a fundraiser,” Papadopoulos said.

We immediately investigated as soon as we were informed. There is no application for a licence of any kind,” he added.

No application has been submitted for a fundraiser and no permits are granted for the construction of monasteries or churches, according to the head of the interior minister’s office Loizos Hadjivassiliou.

“Such an application would be rejected even if it was submitted,” he said.

The demolition of the illegal buildings and the restoration of the site within fifteen days, a period that expires on April 10, 2024, is stipulated in the enforcement notice that has been sent to the bishopric and the Ayia Napa church committee, Hadjivassiliou said.

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