09 January 2014 10:02

Any action against displaced persons who owe the state money should be frozen, the Evroko party said yesterday.
This move would be aimed at stopping the increasing tendency for displaced Greek Cypriot land owners to apply for compensation to the immovable property commission operated by Turkey in the north.
Deputy party leader Michalis Georgallas said: "Evroko is to present before the National Council a list of proposed measures by representatives of occupied property owners in a bid to stop the rising trend of applications tabled before the so called 'compensation' committee in the occupied area."
He added: "I will especially stress the demand that all procedures - legal or other - taken against people owing money to the state but who are unable to pay because of economic difficulties - should be frozen for now." He stressed that this would apply  to refugees or those who own property in the occupied area.
A meeting of the National Council is scheduled for today and Evroko went a step further on this sensitive national issue.
It called for incentives to be offered so that 'compensation' applications are withdrawn as part of the government's policy to alleviate the economic burden on refugees.
Last month, a ministerial committee examined incentives to discourage displaced Greek Cypriot land owners from applying to the property commission.
Setting up a special fund or a bank is on the cards, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos had said after talks with Finance Minister Haris Georgiades and Justice's Ionas Nicolaou.
But the building factor should not be transferred from the occupied to the free areas because, he argued, that would create more problems.
The government is concerned that, particularly due to the current dire financial situation, more and more refugees are willing to relinquish the rights to their properties in the north, often in exchange for compensation that is a fraction of the real value of the property.
Another incentive under consideration is the sale of occupied properties without imposing any taxes, such as capital gains tax or transfer tax, on the buyer or seller. But the purchase or sale of Greek Cypriot properties in the north should only be between Greek Cypriots, it was underlined.
 


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