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EU still progressing Cyprus property issues

Replying to recent questions raised in the European Parliament by MEPs Daniel Hannan and David Martin, Commission Vice-president Viviane Reding has provided an update on progress.

IN NOVEMBER Daniel Hannan, MEP for South East England, raised a question in the European Parliament relating to a complaint raised by Denis O’Hare of the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) in 2011.

A week later, David Martin, MEP for Scotland, raised a further question in the European Parliament concerning the Commission’s report on property development in Cyprus.

Commission Vice-president Viviane Reding has provided an update on progress:

Question for written answer E-009932/2012
to the Commission
Rule 117
Daniel Hannan (ECR)

Subject: Justice for property buyers in Cyprus

Tens of thousands of property buyers in Cyprus have developer mortgages on their homes thanks to the corrupt actions of property developers, banks and lawyers. The Government of Cyprus is complicit in these crimes owing to its failure to publicise and enforce the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD), as per official complaint CHAP(2011)3252.

Unless the Commission punishes the Cypriot Government for this and offers redress to the victims, is it not also complicit in these crimes?

E-009932/2012
Answer given by Ms Reding
on behalf of the Commission
(14.12.2012)

The Commission has been, and continues to be, active in addressing the problems faced by many immovable property buyers in Cyprus because of the practices of developers, banks and lawyers.

In this respect, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written questions E-008121/2012 and E-006765/2012.

Question for written answer E-010363/2012
to the Commission

Rule 117
David Martin (S&D)

Subject: Commission report on property development in Cyprus

The Commission will be aware that in January 2012 it received a reply to a letter it had sent to Cyprus. The Commission’s initial letter was an enquiry into the actions carried out at a national level to address the practices of property developers and the measures taken to ensure that consumers are adequately informed about the Cypriot law on unfair commercial practices.

In April 2012 the Commission finalised its report on the Cypriot response.

Could the Commission outline the conclusions of this report and provide an update on the situation regarding consumer protection in dealings with property developers (this question is with regard to Alpha Panareti Limited specifically)?

E-010363/2012
Answer given by Ms Reding
on behalf of the Commission
(18.12.2012)

The Commission cannot communicate on the content of the Cypriot letter mentioned by the Honourable Member. Indeed, this document has been received in the context of an on-going pre-infringement procedure and its disclosure, even partial, might jeopardize the process of investigation and inspection of the dispute and its resolution.

Answers to written questions E-8121/2012, E-6765/2012 and E-9932/2012 provide an update on the various actions initiated by the Commission in order to address the problems faced by many immovable property buyers in Cyprus and ensure that consumers are adequately protected.

Readers' comments

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  • Frank says:

    Dictionary shows:
    Progress
    verb
    Pronunciation: /prəˈgrɛs/
    develop towards an improved or more advanced condition.

    Does anyone really still believe that the EU will ever deliver ‘progress’?

  • Costas Apacket says:

    What a load of waffle and double speak!

    Ms Reding should get a job working for the EU with a talent like this.

    What’s that? She already has?

    Time to vote UKIP then.

  • paul lambert says:

    Why, as a citizen of the EU am I not allowed to see the contents of the Cypriot reply. We are supposed to represented by our MEPs and MPs but they just continually fob us off with meaningless statements. I’ll correct myself there, the statements aren’t meaningless they are completely open about the way our representatives treat us – as fools who they think will believe anything ! I am part of a court action in London and I have to be completely open and factual about my complaint against various parties in Cyprus. The opposition have to see the contents of any documents produced. Why, when it comes to politicians, do they have the right to be completely secretive about their correspondence and conversations? What was in the Cypriot reply that has to be guarded so closely? I can take a guess – it probably read something like this

    “It doesn’t matter how many stiff letters you write to us, even if you write them on cardboard, we don’t give a damn about the British or any other EU member for that matter. We only joined the EU to draw money out of the system and get cushy, well paid jobs. We know you are just going through the motions because in effect you are as bad and corrupt as we are. Don’t lecture us when the EU itself can’t ever provide certified accounts for anyone to view. We’ll play along with this little game because no one at the Commission is capable of making a decision or carrying out a threat.You know as well as us that once you are on the gravy train you don’t give a damn about ‘citizens of the EU’ What pompous nonsense that phrase is. We’ll keep sending you non committal replies and you’ll keep making promises to the public. They don’t realise its just a game we’re playing. There are all stupid mugs who don’t know how to get together themselves over these problems. The funniest thing is that they actually put their faith in the Commission to solve the problems . We do have a quiet chuckle amongst ourselves over that one ! Anyway, keep writing the letters and we’ll wait about 6 months and send you another reply. Keeps the fools happy doesn’t it !”

    I’m sure some script writers will be thinking to themselves, what a good comedy show this would make! Anyone fancy a trip the EU headquarters for a protest? I’m serious

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Apparently, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has proposed 2013 as the ‘European Year of Citizens’ during which she states: ‘the Commission will need to demonstrate a European system of justice that has the capability to link, overlay or check national legal systems in a way that can produce some sort of coherent whole as citizens go about their daily lives’.

    Unfortunately, such fine rhetoric is likely to sound hollow and meaningless to the thousands of aggrieved victims who remain unprotected, without redress and deeply cynical and mistrustful of the EU and its Commission. They will not be expecting that Commissioner Reding will wave a magic wand in 2013 and deliver even a scintilla of protection and justice for them any time soon. I wonder what her remuneration package is as Commissioner for Evasion and Vacuous Utterances?

  • Steve says:

    In other words don’t expect any help from the EU. Two years ago Ms Reding was hailed as the new Messiah come to save the poor exploited property buyers in Cyprus. The EU regulations contained in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive have not been enforced in Cyprus, while the assurances given by Minister Sylikiotis to Reding regarding the effectiveness of Specific Performance in protecting buyers without title deeds have not been backed up by the courts: on the contrary, they have been judged insufficient to demonstrate the right to the property, as Conor O’Dwyer and others have found. Many property buyers, who, like me, waited to buy until Cyprus joined the EU, as a reassurance that they would behave like Europeans, can only shake their heads in disbelief.

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