A group of prominent foreign business leaders with significant interests in Cyprus has come together to pen a letter addressed to Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis. The forum of over 100 businesspeople, alarmed by recent developments, particularly the arrest of Simon Aykut, a director of Afik Group, has expressed their grave concerns about the current legal and political climate in the country.

The business leaders, in collaboration with The Mediterranean Association for Democracy and Commerce, represent diverse sectors and countries, and have raised critical issues in their letter, highlighting the potential negative impact on the business environment and investment climate in Cyprus. The arrest of Mr Aykut, based on a Greek Cypriot law that has not been enforced for over 15 years, has triggered fears of politically motivated actions that could undermine legal stability and predictability, essential for economic prosperity.

The letter emphasises several key points:
Legal stability and predictability: the abrupt enforcement of long-dormant laws threatens to erode trust in Cyprus’s legal system. Business operations and investments rely on a stable and predictable legal environment. The business leaders urge the Cypriot government to ensure that the rule of law is upheld impartially, free from political manipulation.

Unreliable land registry records: the forum highlights concerns over the use of incomplete and unreliable land registry records in the Republic of Cyprus. They call for a comprehensive review and update of these records to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Geopolitical tensions: the ongoing geopolitical conflict in Cyprus, rooted in ethnic tensions since the 1974 Turkish invasion, adds complexity to the current legal actions. The business leaders fear that recent government actions are aimed more at exerting political pressure rather than addressing genuine legal concerns.

Impact on investment: the group warns that the current legal uncertainties could deter both local and international investors, leading to potential economic downturns and job losses. A stable and transparent legal system is crucial for attracting and retaining investment, fostering economic growth, and ensuring the prosperity of Cyprus.

Follow this link to read the full letter: https://jmp.sh/vLyAcT8m
An anonymous Cypriot businessman, part of the forum, expressed the collective sentiment: “This situation is deeply concerning for anyone doing business in Cyprus. If the government can revive old, unenforced laws to target individuals and businesses, it raises a red flag for all investors. It creates an environment of unpredictability and fear.”

The forum’s letter calls upon the Cypriot government to take immediate steps to restore confidence in the rule of law, reject politically motivated actions, and promote a transparent legal system. They believe that these measures are essential for Cyprus to attract and retain investment, ensuring long-term economic stability and growth.

The Mediterranean Association for Democracy & Commerce