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Media Watch 2004

17 February 2004
Source: Politis
Comment: The following article appeared in Politis of Nicosia on 17 February 2004.
Refugees’ problems

During a three-day tour in Paphos district, DIKO MPs Sophoklis Fytis, Fytos Konstantinou and Zacharias Koulias recorded the agonies of the refugees regarding the solution of the Cyprus issue and their return to the occupied territories. The scheduled visit of the DIKO MPs in refugee communities of Paphos coincided with the developments on Cyprus and, as it was expected, the refugees’ interest mainly focused on these developments.

The three DIKO MPs listened with understanding to the concerns of the refugees, reiterating though their trust in the handlings of the President of the Republic and of the entire political leadership. DIKO MPs started their tour on Friday and visited the communities of Mandria, Timi, Kouklia, Poli Chrysochous, Moutallo in Paphos and Lemba. During their tour, the MPs were accompanied by leading members of the DIKO District Committee, while the vice-president of the party Nikos Pittokopitis was also present during their visit in Moutallo. According to Mr. Fytis, who was ahead of the team, the main issues raised by the refugees concern refugees’ houses, being on the verge of collapse, the housing of young couples, the occupation of Turkish-Cypriot properties from non-refugees and the redistribution of Turkish-Cypriot lots, the help for the elderly people living in refugees’ settlements, the construction of old people’s homes and nursery schools in some communities. One of the major issues raised is the occupation and exploitation of farming areas and other estates from non-refugees. According to Mr. Fytis’ statements, this issue was recently discussed in the House Committee on Refugees and will have to be clarified soon. Instructions were given to competent authorities to examine one by one the communities and the areas in question to find out who is holding illegally or exploiting Turkish-Cypriot properties and under which regime. The native residents of the communities in Mandria, Timi and Kouklia asked the three MPs to help determine the tourist zones and develop their seaside areas. All the issues raised by the presidents of the community councils and the refugees were taken into account by the MPs and will be forwarded to the competent ministries and to other government services."