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Proposals to accelerate Cyprus title deeds

The Finance Minister has received a number of proposals from the European party on ways that the process of issuing Title Deeds may be accelerated.

EVROKO, the European Party, has made a proposal to Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis to “speed up the processes for issuing title deeds for property“, but will “have to think about” how to encourage developers to pay off their mortgages, the party said yesterday.

Party leader Demetris Syllouris told the Cyprus Mail that the main aim of the proposal is to speed up the process of issuing title deeds by cutting down bureaucracy, and thereby “reverse the bad image that Cyprus has developed abroad due to problems with the transfer of property rights“.

This would be achieved through three main measures: applying the existing regulations “more favourably“, i.e. less strictly; allowing self-regulation by civil engineers for smaller projects involving, for example, no more than five property units; and a “town-planning amnesty“.

When he was reminded that the government was in the process of preparing amendments to property legislation amounting to an “amnesty” for developers who have broken town-planning laws and regulations in relation to existing property, Syllouris said that “EVROKO has already proposed two bills in the past, and has discussed them with both the current Interior Minister [Neoclis Sylikiotis] and his predecessor, but nothing was done.

Commenting on the fact that, according to information given to the Cyprus Mail by the Interior Ministry, the proposed legislation will only be presented to the House of Representatives after the summer recess in September, Syllouris said: “If we have to wait till then, so be it. As far as we’re concerned, we will do everything we can to get things approved as quickly as possible.

Syllouris said that the Finance Minister has agreed to meet EVROKO representatives “in the next few days” to discuss a total of 27 proposals, including those relating to the title deeds issue. “A quick resolution would mean a significant boost to state revenues“, he said.

EVROKO MP and parliamentary spokesman Rikkos Erotokritou told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that, beyond the legislative steps to address the title deeds situation, “we don’t have a solution for the financial aspects – that’s for the banks.

When asked what steps might be taken to encourage developers to pay off their mortgages and allow title deeds to be issued to the owners of property built on mortgaged land, Erotokritou said: “We don’t have an answer. Let us think about that one.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

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