Lawmakers have drafted a bill that would see the state compensate refugees for loss of use and enjoyment of their property in the north – almost 50 years after the Turkish invasion and the island’s partition.
The legislative proposal was tabled by junior opposition party DIKO.
The compensation for eligible refugees would be based on the value of their property in the north.
Speaking at the House refugees committee on Tuesday, DIKO MP Christos Senekis called it an “important day for the refugees, as a substantive step is being taken for an at least partial restitution of their solvency.”
He added: “In this way, we finally achieve a linkage of the occupied property with second and third-generation refugees, because the Cyprus problem will exist for as long as there are occupied Greek Cypriot properties claimed by their legitimate owners.”
For her part, ruling DISY MP Rita Superman said the proposed bill effectively amends the law governing the operation of the Central Agency for Equal Distribution of Burdens – in such a way as to enable the agency to provide financial support to eligible persons.
A public-law entity established in 1995, the agency operates the scheme “for the restoration of the pre-war solvency of owners whose immovable property in Cyprus is in the occupied areas. Through the scheme, loans and guarantees for loans are granted to entitled persons for specific purposes.”
In other business, parliamentarians called for stricter checks on premises rented out to refugees – properties in the south belonging to Turkish Cypriots and under the interior ministry’s custody.
Committee chair Nicos Kettiros (AKEL) said they have learned of serious issues with the structural adequacy of residences or shops being rented by Greek Cypriot refugees.
MPs were stunned to hear – from officials no less – that structural adequacy checks on these premises are often done “by eyeballing it” – meaning no actual tests are carried out.
This posed a serious safety hazard to the tenants.
In an earlier session, the committee had heard how 43 apartment buildings inhabited by refugees had not passed structural adequacy tests.

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