Latest Headlines

Constructive work on title deeds issue

David Lidington the UK Minister for Europe has completed a two-day working visit to Cyprus during which was received by President Anastasiades and met with Ioannis Kasoulides, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

UK MINISTER for Europe David Lidington yesterday welcomed the “constructive work” done by the Cyprus government over the sensitive issue of title deeds, still pending for thousands of property owners, both foreign and Cypriot.

Speaking after a meeting with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Nicosia, the British minister said he welcomed the “constructive work” done over the vast question of property.

“I know that this is not something that has only affected British people, but a very large number of citizens here in Cyprus have been beset by the same legal problems over housing arrangements that in some way have gone wrong. And it’s in both our interests to hope for a way forward for those families that go through a great deal of anguish and uncertainty,” he said.

Kasoulides said the two ministers had a chance to “map out our coordination in relation to the sensitive issue of title deeds and the problems faced by a number of our British friends who have purchased property in Cyprus and also, of course, to thousands of Cypriots who face exactly the same problem”.

“This is an important issue for the Cypriot government that we are determined to effectively address,” he said.

The two also discussed the Cyprus problem, bilateral relations, European issues and regional developments.

On the Cyprus problem, Kasoulides said they had “conducive and in depth discussions” on the latest developments, particularly the government’s position on the resumption of negotiations, including the proposal for the return of the fenced off part of Famagusta as a “game changer”.

For his part, Lidington told reporters that he was “encouraged” by what he has learned regarding the latest steps in the search for a solution, which, he argued, would be “so much in the interest of every family on the island”.

A solution would offer a “huge economic prize” that could bring great prosperity to people from every community and every background in Cyprus, he said.

“I can think of no other political event which would send such a clear signal to international investors in Europe and all around the globe that the prospects for economic development in a reunited island were better than ever before in our lifetimes.”

The UK and Cypriot ministers discussed bilateral cooperation, highlighting the recent work between the Cypriot and UK authorities concerning the restructuring of the public sector, and Cyprus’ economic obligations towards the Troika of international lenders.

Lidington said the British government was pleased to be able to provide Cyprus technical support during the crisis earlier this year and since then in the ongoing work of the government for reform of the public sector.

“I think that President (Nicos) Anastasiades and his government showed very courageous leadership at a time of grave economic difficulty and we want to continue to do whatever we can to help the people of Cyprus to gain a more prosperous future by getting people back into work, getting the economy going again,” he said.

The two also discussed regional issues, including the “ongoing humanitarian turmoil in Syria, as well as managing the event of a possible escalation, in which Cyprus can and is ready to provide a safe refuge for EU nationals and others”, said Kasoulides.

The British minister said the UK and Cyprus “share a determination to do whatever we can to resist the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to resist international terrorism that looks for fruitful soil in the Middle East, in North Africa and in the Sahara”.

Summing up, Kasoulides described the UK as “a partner of unique importance for Cyprus, and certainly one with which we share a strong, pragmatic and deeply founded relationship of decisive potential on the basis of reciprocity”.

During his two-day visit which ended yesterday, Lidington also met with with Anastasiades on Tuesday and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu yesterday.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • @kufrahdog – There is a link to the revised MoU at the foot of the updated article.

  • kufrahdog says:

    Nigel, re your post dated 11 November 2013 @ 7:23 pm. If the revised MOU dated 6 November 2013 is in the public domain could you please provide a link on your website. My thanks in advance.KD.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    @Mr Nigel Howarth. Dear Sir.

    What does that Latin term “Ex Officio” mean in the framework of your comment, regarding this matter? many thanks for all your previous help and advice. RB.

  • Andrew says:

    “take action to accelerate the swift clearing of encumbrances on title deeds to be transferred to purchasers of immovable property by Q4-2014.”

    Can anyone explain how unpaid developer mortgages will be cleared. Will the banks have to write-off these bad debts?

  • @aggis demetriou – CPAG organised a demonstration in Pegia (Paphos) to coincide with the President’s visit to open a new municipal park.

    About 300 people attended including George President, the President of KSIA, who address the gathering.

    But at the last minute the President postponed his visit due to an ‘important commitment’!

    The Cyprus Government and the troika are well aware of the problem. I’ve just been sent a copy of the latest Memorandum of Understanding (dated 6th November 2013), which states that the Cypriot authorities will:

    “Ensure that the title deed issuance backlog drops to less than 2,000 cases of immovable property units with title deed issuance pending for more than one year by Q4-2014 (backlog refers to (i) applications, (ii) units that are eligible for the “ex officio” issuance of title deeds, required certificates and permits); take action to accelerate the swift clearing of encumbrances on title deeds to be transferred to purchasers of immovable property by Q4-2014.”

    If the Cyprus Government fails to meet its obligations…

    Money (or rather the lack of it) speaks louder than words or peaceful demonstrations.

    (And the Cyprus Property Action Group is still working away with MEPs and Europe).

    Also, with more than 4,000 reading ‘Cyprus Property News’ on a regular basis. There can’t be many people who don’t know about the Title Deed fiasco which is causing severe problems for the island’s economy. Property sales and down by nearly a half compared to last year.

  • Janner says:

    What a load of nonsense! Dealing with religious divide in Northern Ireland is a sensitive issue. Brokering peace in the Middle East is a sensitive issue. What is sensitive about the issuing of title deeds. Please don’t feel you have to protect my feelings on this ‘sensitive’ matter. Be up front and brutally honest about your constructive work to date, I’m all ears!

  • Pete says:

    “constructive work” done by the Cyprus government over the sensitive issue of title deeds.

    Has anyone actually seen any examples of this “constructive work” or is it another load of hot air spouted by politicians?

    And if they’re finding the issue ‘sensitive’ why not just deal with it now and be done with it?

  • aggis demetriou says:

    What about a street demonstration outside big Nicks palace you guys will never get a title the way the system is, don’t you realise it’s impossible to get a Final Completion Certificate as this is what is required before a Title Deed can be issued.

    Don’t hide behind your computer peaceful street demo’s is what’s needed here.

  • @C Solomon – Two years ago there were around 130,000 title deeds waiting to be issued.

    In 2008 the Land Registry announced that 4,400 properties had been transferred to non-Cypriots during the preceding three and a half years, while the transfers of a further 29,949 were still in the pipeline.

    I would say for every one no-Cypriot waiting for their deeds there are three Cypriots.

  • Peter Davis says:

    David Lidington
    Member of Parliament for Aylesbury (Conservative)
    Minister for Europe

    Tel: 01296 482102 / Fax: 01296 398481 /
    Address House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
    Email: david.lidington.mp@parliament.uk /
    Web: http://www.davidlidington.com

    So why not write or email the MP for Europe and ask what has been done. I’m sure several thousand people in Cyprus would like to know the basis of his comment.

    I know I have.

  • C Solomon says:

    Title Deed problem does not affect thousands of Cypriots. They have the Title Deeds for the land and don’t wish to register the house for obvious reasons. The problem is mainly for foreigners.

  • @kufrahdog – I am aware that things are happening behind the scenes. As soon as I’m able to report on progress, I’ll publish an article.

  • kufrahdog says:

    One is hard pushed to understand what ‘constructive work’ has been performed to date by the Cyprus government that Mr Lidington could possibly welcome. There is nothing in the public domain to prove the point. It would seem that Mr Lidington has been beguiled by Cypriot politicians in much the same way as I was scammed when I bought my property from a corrupt developer via a corrupt lawyer, both of whom were expoiting a property conveyancing system that they knew was not fit for purpose.

    If Mr Lidington truly believes that ‘constructive work’ has been done by the Cyprus government in respect of title deeds then he must say what it is and how it will deliver title deeds to all those caught in the scam. Until he makes a substantial comment on what the ‘constructive work’ actually is, he will be seen as inept and postively dangerous to those whose property / equity is at risk from any decisions that the Cyrprus government is likely to make.

    Nigel, are you able to throw any light on the ‘constructive work’ to which Mr Lidington is referring? KD.

  • Mike says:

    If only I had a way of bottling hot air. My winter fuel bills would be almost non existent.

    “This is an important issue for the Cypriot government that we are determined to effectively address,” he said. Well would it be too much to ask how? Sadly we have all, in the past, read a number of constructive suggestions but this was not one of them.

  • Andrew says:

    This headline should read: Construction work continues to compound Title Deeds issue.

    One day it would be nice if there was some meat on the bones they throw.

  • Richard says:

    We have been (indirectly) in touch with David Lidington via our MP. I also googled David’s past and he was named as someone who was under investigation in the UK MP/MEP expenses scandal a few years ago.

    He has stated (in writing – we have a copy) people in difficulty with their loans in Cyprus to be “a private matter between them and the banks”. He doesn’t appear to regard the corrupt, shady & mis-leading activities of the brokers, the lawyers and the banks as something the government of either side should be accountable for. Hmm – I wonder what being an elected ‘public servant’ therefore means in his terms? That would be an interesting conversation to have with him (but so far – not many ordinary people have been granted access).

    Armed with the above evidence – I therefore treat with a good deal of scepticism any output from David Lidington at present. When he demonstrates that through his direct and transparent actions with the Cypriot government – that it improves the lot of ordinary folks in Cyprus (be they UK, Cypriot or any other nationality investing in property in the island) I’d be happy to sing his praises.

    No cigar yet though Mr Lidington….

  • Martyn says:

    Weasel words all round then!

  • Pippa says:

    Has it been explained to Mr Lidington that many title deeds are issued to developers who then hold on to them while asking for outrageous amounts of monies? Or that property buyers may be expected to pay the developers NPL before they can get their title deeds?

    Perhaps instead of a two day jolly away from the UK weather, Mr Lidington or one of his colleagues would like to actual meet buyers affected by this corrupt practice and who are unable to sell up and leave this 3rd world country.

  • Stuart says:

    The level of ‘determination’ by the Cyprus government to effectively address the issue of Title Deeds can be clearly demonstrated by:

    a) the progress to date and

    b) the remaining backlog of tens of thousands allowed to accumulate over many years.

    It is common practice for ministers to congratulate one another on their fine handling of controversial situations and try to give the impression that everything in the garden is rosy when really it’s only cosy.

    Sugar-coated aspirational intentions are no substitute for grasping the nettle by which so many property investors have been stung.

  • Linda Leblanc says:

    This is a bureaucratic con & all hot air. Most buyers with problem properties are still being shafted with this so-called “constructive” work.
    As usual, developers seem to be doing well out of this & getting out of their obligations.

  • Ivan says:

    They should get rid of these people and their two day visits, more expense to pat each other on the back. I would love to see what ‘work’ was actually done and how much it actually cost the taxpayers!

    As AndyP rightly states, ‘how about some action’.

    Are there any actual action points that can be measured within a time scale? I very much doubt it as someone might then be held responsible! Of course the official statement would be that the purpose for the visit was not to do that.

    Backpacking is a cheap way to tour, but if you want to do Europe in style try the new ‘Back patting’ system exclusively designed for ministers!

  • andyp says:

    I am sure I have never heard any of those general, bland statements from a Cyprus minister before.

    Oh. I have, on many occasions.

    How about some action?

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

  • Text size

SELECTED REPORTS

Back to top