SCOTTISH MEP Ian Hudghton raised the following question in the European Parliament in July:
“A significant number of constituents have complained to the Commission and MEPs about the incidence of alleged corruption in the Cyprus property industry.
Is the Commission aware of such breaches of the law, and what action has it taken in relation to complaints about property transactions in Cyprus?”
Yesterday, in her reply to Mr Hudghton’s question EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding wrote:
Answer given by Ms Reding
on behalf of the Commission
As regards the problems faced by a number of immovable property buyers in Cyprus who failed to receive their title deed, the Commission has already initiated measures to ensure both an effective protection of EU consumers and a correct application of EU legislation.
As an example, the Commission sent an administrative letter to the Cypriot authorities enquiring about the actions carried out at national level to address the reported problems, in particular to ensure that buyers are provided with all necessary information in order to be able to take an informed purchase decision, such as on the pre-existence of a mortgage on the property offered for sale, as required by Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair Commercial Practices .
The Vice-President and Member of the Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental rights and Citizenship also met the Cypriot Interior Minister to raise this issue.
As regards the question related to the alleged corruption in the Cypriot property industry, the Commission has not conducted any particular analysis regarding this specific matter. If the Honourable Member has specific information regarding the extent and nature of alleged corruption within this sector in Cyprus, he can provide it to the Commission. The Commission is currently working on an EU anti-corruption reporting mechanism through which all Member States’ efforts against corruption will be assessed. The first such report shall be published by the Commission in 2013, making country-specific recommendations for each Member State.
1 OJ L 149, 11.6.2005, p. 22