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HM Government replies to Title Deed questions

The UK Government has said that it will not close down the UK offices of Cypriot companies selling property unless it receives evidence of illegal behaviour.

Following on from the article “HM Government replies to Lord Jones“, the British Government has said that it will not close down the UK offices of Cypriot companies selling property or ban the promotion of Cyprus property at exhibitions of overseas property held in the UK unless it receives evidence of illegal behaviour.

In an answer to Lord Jones of Cheltenham’s question in the UK House of Lords which appeared in Lords Hansard yesterday, HM Government goes on to say that the British High Commission in Nicosia continues to support the work of the Cyprus Property Action Group.

Many of those in the property industry were angered by Lord Jones’ question:

Lakis Tofarides, Chairman of the Land and Building Developers Association, told the Cyprus Mail “I have read what Lord Jones said and frankly I think it is a little bit out of proportion, exaggerated actually. This is not a matter of British versus Cypriots, it’s a problem which affects us too“.

A well known developer told the Cyprus Mail “He has not helped, but I think it’s about getting his name in the newspapers. The reputations of our companies are being dragged through the dirt daily in England, however, we must do something to give people confidence now or we will all suffer very badly,

But there were also a number of supportive comments:

I agree, until these property developers can act in a professional manner and stop their lies, deceit and start putting their customers before profit then they should be put out of business and feel the cold draught of the recession,” said one Paphos resident.

Another Paphos resident said: “Many of them (property developers) have become far too greedy and have also destroyed the environment of the island without giving a damn about the long-term effects!

The General Secretary of the Pancyprian Hoteliers’ Association (PASYXE), Zacharias Ioannides said that “We have lost the honesty as a state. It is really unacceptable that the British buy villas and when they decide to leave the island they cannot do so because the have no title deeds. The competent state services are timid since they failed to find a solution so far“.

However, increasing pressure on the Cyprus Government is starting to have a positive effect:

A report in yesterday’s StockWatch the Cyprus Interior Minister, Neoclis Silikiotis has stated that 10,000 Title Deeds will be issued by the end of the year followed by a further 10,000 in 2010. The report also stated that the total number of Title Deeds still pending is 120,000 (an increase of 20,000 in the figures reported by the Land Registry last October).

The Interior minister has also set up special team who overseeing teams of officials in each of the island’s district that are monitoring progress on the Title Deeds question.

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