The Council of Ministers with its decision has proceeded to the cancellation of the programme of financial assistance that was being given to couples for the construction of a home in refugee settlements where refugees have built their own homes.

Instead of providing further support to refugee couples given that plots of land were being granted to couples on very low incomes, they have also ended the financial assistance they were granting them. Unfortunately recently many couples who were granted a plot of land had to give return it because of their inability to proceed to the construction of a home. That is the reason why we are very concerned about the Council of Minster’s decision because it probably will exacerbate the problem.

This government has ended the scheme to build refugee settlements, terminated the project to grant plots of land to a refugee settlement that has built its own housing and reduced subsidies for the purchase or construction of a home by up to 50%.

In his statement, the Minister states that the separation process is pending for a further 507 plots. What he deliberately conceals is that the plots were in fact 705 and on his decision the separation of 200 plots in the village of Sotira, Limassol was abolished using various pretexts, while a great delay is being observed in the completion of the construction projects on plots that are under separation.

While the President of the Republic, the Ministers and the governing DISY MP’s are celebrating that we have left behind us the era of Memoranda they have proceeded to impose the further curbing of even this inadequate refugee policy they have pursued.

AKEL is planning to raise the issue for discussion at the next plenary session of the Parliamentary Commission for Refugees, Enclaved people in the occupied areas, Missing Persons and War-stricken People, aiming even at this late stage to persuade the government and to stop this unjust policy towards our refugees.

Statement by Skevi Koukouma, AKEL Political Bureau member and MP

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