Daily Archives: January 20, 2010

Archives January 20, 2010 posted by

Orams must demolish villa and return land to Greek Cypriot refugee

BRITONS Linda and David Orams must demolish the home they built on Greek Cypriot refugee Melitis Apostolides’ land in Lapithos and return the property to him, the UK Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

They were also ordered to pay legal costs and back rent to Apostolides by the court.

The ruling that backs the Nicosia court’s 2004 decision, came after a five-year legal battle that saw the opposing sides and their lawyers arguing it out in Nicosia, Luxemburg and London.

“The Court of Appeal has decided in favour of Mr Apostolides.  The present appeal is final. A further appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is not permitted,’ Apostolides’ lawyer Constantis Candounas said yesterday.

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Our view: Usurpers in the north beware

THE JUDGMENT of the UK Court of Appeal on the Orams case will have sent shock waves through the occupied north, where several thousand Britons and other EU citizens bought properties built on land that belongs to Greek Cypriots.

The Court of Appeal ruled that decisions of the Cyprus Courts with regard to the legal rights of Greek Cypriots against individuals using their property could be enforced in the UK. The judgment was final and cannot be subject to an appeal.

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Linda Orams: we have not let it get us down

IN AN exclusive interview with the CYPRUS MAIL last night, Linda Orams expressed her bitter disappointment at yesterdays High Court ruling, and revealed that she is now preparing to travel to the north to arrange the demolition of her villa.

“We will be coming out to Cyprus shortly and depending on what is discussed over the next few days with our lawyers, and we will have to apply for planning permission to demolish the villa. We have to investigate all the avenues of what we can actually do… and do our best,” she said.

Orams pointed to the sense of urgency that she and her husband now faced, saying that the British courts will be monitoring their actions within the next fortnight.

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EU citizens will think ‘three times’ before buying in the north

PRESIDENT DEMETRIS Christofias yesterday welcomed the “important” Orams ruling but remained low key in his response to what most parties applauded as a legal victory for Greek Cypriot refugees.

Speaking on his return from Athens, Christofias said the decision that the Cypriot court’s ruling must be executed was legally important because the English Court based its ruling on EU laws and the European Convention of Human Rights, while it was politically important “because it gives an answer to the side that wishes to deny the right to ownership or use of property”.

He noted that the decision would be studied fully and used accordingly, but refrained from elaborating further. “I think it would not be very responsible on my part if we got into more detail,” he added.

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Orams ruling not a ‘game changer’ for talks

THE BRITISH Appeals Court ruling on the Orams case could weaken Mehmet Ali Talat’s chances of re-election as Turkish Cypriot leader, in turn diminishing the chances of a solution, said diplomats and officials close to the talks yesterday.

The international community is “aware” the ruling could have an impact on the talks but seems more concerned it could undermine Talat’s position in the upcoming ‘presidential’ elections.

As one source put it: “If Dervis Eroglu [Talat’s main contender] wins, you’re not looking at a solution for another five years.”

One diplomat agreed that the ruling would not make things easy for Talat, though he believed ultimately it was not a “game changer” for the talks.

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Bad news for homeowners, good news for water reserves

THE FIRE Service yesterday said it had responded to over 200 calls in the last 24 hours, mainly to pump water from flooded roads and basements, as well as to rescue people and vehicles as heavy rains continued.

The good news was that some eight million cubic metres of water flowed into the island’s dams, 4.5 million in the Paphos region alone, and two million into the Asprokremmos dam in less than a day.

However the authorities were more concerned with the damage caused. Most calls for help came from Nicosia. Astromeritis village was the hardest hit, while rescue missions were sent out twice in Limassol and Paphos.

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Eroglu: Greek Cypriots caused flooding in Morphou

TURKISH Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Dervis Eroglu yesterday accused the Greek Cypriot side of  “directing flood waters” to the Morphou area where widespread damage was caused by the heavy rains. He called it “inhuman behaviour”.

Eroglu visited the area yesterday where, according to Turkish Cypriot press, roads were blocked, houses flooded, animals drowned while people and vehicles were stranded. He said it was a “great disaster”

According to reports in the north the heavy flooding was caused by the overflow of dams in the south of the island, “or the uncontrollable opening of dams by authorities in the south”.

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OEV slams ‘two-speed economy’

CYPRUS is running a two-speed economy and society, and unless the public sector is radically restructured – including the eventual privatisation of the semi-state bodies – it will face a rocky ride, Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV) President Andreas Pittas said yesterday.

Speaking to the press to mark OEV’s 50th anniversary, Pittas said that if a series of structural economic reforms aimed at reducing the budget deficit are not carried out urgently, “we could be led into an even worse economic crisis which in turn will bring stagflation, increased unemployment and large public deficits that will inhibit any prospect for growth.”

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State owed over a billion

 

THE STATE was owed over a billion euros in taxes and other income in 2008 with a big chunk of that being difficult to recover, the Auditor-general said yesterday.

The arrears range from capital gains and immovable property taxes, to debts by defunct airlines, and local boards’ water bills.

Some 40 per cent of this would be difficult if not impossible to recover, the House Oversight Committee heard.

For instance the millions owed to the Department of Civil Aviation by Helios Airways.

Auditor-general Chrystalla Yiorkadji said over half of the amount — some €580 million — concerned tax arrears.

“In our opinion €380 million can be collected,” Yiorkadji told lawmakers.

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Low cost airline offers more flight options

THE Romanian-owned low-cost airline Blue Air has permanently based its fleet in Cyprus and will offer cheap flight options to new destinations, it announced yesterday.

From March 28, travellers will have the option of three direct flights per week from Larnaca to Italy (Milan), Austria (Vienna) and Poland (Warsaw), and a daily flight to Romania (Bucharest), plus four flights per week from Paphos to Greece (Thessaloniki). London (Luton) will also be accessible via Bucharest.

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