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Bailiffs strip Paphos Land Registry office

Bailiffs acting on a court order have stripped the Paphos Land Registry office of anything that wasn’t nailed down to compensate creditors whose land was expropriated for the Paphos/Polis road and who have yet to be paid compensation.

THE STATE owes some €600 million because of obligations created by expropriating land, Interior Minister Eleni Mavrou said on Friday after the Paphos Land Registry was visited by bailiffs.

“It’s impossible to pay this,” Mavrou said.

She said that the money owed “included small obligations but also very large obligations” and the Cabinet had already met to decide how to proceed.

The need for action was highlighted on Thursday when bailiffs acting on the strength of a court warrant, walked into the Paphos Land Registry and stripped it bare of anything that wasn’t nailed down.

What happened was that a writ of movables was issued – a court order allowing bailiffs to take possession of the movables and sell them in a private auction to compensate creditors.

If more money needs to be collected, bailiffs will go on looking for more to confiscate on the strength of the same warrant, the Cyprus Mail was told.

Mavrou confirmed that the action was related to the Paphos-Polis road, a project which has been discussed for almost a decade and for which the state paid €140 million in compensation to property owners for land expropriation.

Around two thirds of the owed compensation has already been paid, Mavrou said but added there had been people waiting for their compensation for some three years.

So “people sought warrants”. “I understand that some people may be depending on the money coming from this compensation,” Mavrou said.

So we will “gather all data of owed money for requisitions,” she said adding that they would be meeting with all relevant bodies to evaluate the situation” and set more specific standards on the priority with which people are compensated”.

Part of the reason this is more urgent is that although people used to get 9.0 per cent as interest for compensation owed, the interest is now 4.0 per cent, Mavrou said.

“There’s people that in the process of expropriation, they may have lost their only land property, and may be depending on this money and waiting for many years (to get their money),” Mavrou said.

For those people, the lower interest rate might lead them to seek their money in the courts.

Mavrou said they were considering returning some of the expropriated land. But a landowner has the option to refuse to take the land back and take the state to court. Landowners can also protest the amount offered to them in compensation. “No matter what’s done it has to be done within the next few months,” Mavrou said.

Readers' comments

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  • Martyn says:

    Peter D seems to be too polite, and too patient: chasing for over 10 years indeed, probably ‘indicative’ of the depth of the overall TDs problems. the rest is indeed good material for a Pythonesque sketch, series even! Fire Chief sitting on file for 6 months, given Home No. discuss, then after all that they try to Hike the Duty due.

    And Simon E’s comments are Spot On, as anyone who has seen today’s (18th May) BBC Hardtalk interview with the Chairman of Cyprus Popular (aka Laiki) Bank, previously a Cyprus Finance Minister, will understand: approaching government Bailout for Cyprus banks, first real signs of serious withdrawal of Deposits from Cyprus banks, first real mention of possible ESFS support.

    Hey, it seems the Denial stage is finally over, the Low rate Russian loans are largely used, and we start to see the mess the Cyprus economy is actually in.

    Batten down the hatches folks and lets hope the Med-Gas proves to be the Bonanza some are openly predicting. Meantime the sun still shines, the £ appreciates against the €, M & S’s wine gets cheaper, relatively speaking, as the weeks, months go by.

    Debenhams seem to have more and more frequent Sales……For some of us there are at least some compensations!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Anyone want to buy some desks and chairs?

  • Mike says:

    ………”Bailiffs acting on a court order have stripped the Paphos Land Registry office of anything that wasn’t nailed down to compensate creditors whose land was expropriated for the Paphos/Polis road and who have yet to be paid compensation”……..

    I find it hard to believe that this actually happened, if it did then Robert Briggs is spot on with his analagy of a nightmare version of Monty Python. You just couldn’t make it up if you tried.

    I propose Richard Pryor, Mel Brooks and Eddie Murphy are missing a golden opportunity here to produce the comedy of a lifetime.

  • Peter G Davis says:

    In fairness to the staff. I’ve chased my title deeds through the District Office in Paphos, Centre Point and then the Land Registry and Planning in Paphos in both the old and new building for over 10 years.

    I have always found them to be helpful and very polite never refusing to answer a question or query, even spending time to locate and discuss the file with me and any outstanding problems.

    At the District Office I found the Fire Chief was sitting on my file, and had been for over 6 months. The lady was lost to explain why he needed it for such a length of time and gave me the Fire Chief’s private home telephone number so I could ring him direct and ask for an explanation…….wouldn’t get that service in the UK.

    Only when we actually came to collect our title deeds and money was involved did we experience problems and then it was with an inflated price which we refused to pay….But this was a one off experience.

  • Fighting For Justice says:

    I think the major comment that is most worrying in the article is the Interior Minister admitting it is impossible to pay their debt. Never mind whether Cyprus can survive economically if Greece leaves the euro, it would appear that the government already is out of cash and cannot meet its liabilities.

  • Adrian says:

    I was in the Land Registry on Monday morning and they were all working “normally”,it would appear that the baillifs went room to room and noted what was in each room. They still have all their computers etc. and to be fair to the people that I have had to deal with they try to be helpful but they are limited by government rules and from what I can see a “jobs worth” attitude from the top management who couldn’t run a kiosk!!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    It seems that owners of land have much more power than owners of property and the Cypriot legal system seems to work very well for them.

    It’s a great pity the bailiffs didn’t take the land registry staff and auction them too, although, to be fair, I don’t think they would have got much for them!

    So this €600 million is on top of the Bank’s debts, outstanding Developer mortgages, Mari power station in tatters, etc, etc.

  • Simon Edwards says:

    Nigel Farage will love this ! I am becoming increasingly concerned about state coffers and their ability to guarantee deposits. I feel sorry for those concerned who are waiting.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Perhaps there is some poetic justice here. The Land Registry, that august paragon of state theivery, getting its come-uppance in such an humiliating fashion! Pure magic!

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Robert.

    I feel that I must take you to task.

    It’s not “by the month”, it’s DAILY.

  • Fighting For Justice says:

    No wonder I haven’t received my offer of compensation that I was promised 2 years ago.

    They’re skint!

  • Andrew says:

    Land Registry not paying out compensation, whatever next? Maybe they will start overcharging people if they get lucky enough to be told that their Title Deeds are ready.

    One other thought has crossed my mind….. maybe the stripped office will be the excuse used for head shaking, when people do try to obtain their Title Deeds.

    Whoever writes these scripts should receive an accolade. Just when you thought it could get no dafter! Keep digging lads.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    By the month, year upon year, this place is becoming like a nightmare version of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

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