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Cyprus protesters take to the streets

Earlier today a group of around 100 Cypriots and expatriates mounted a peaceful protest outside the new Paphos offices of the law firm Fotos Pittadjis.

Protesters outside the Paphos offices of Photos Pittadjis

Protesters outside the Paphos offices of the law firm Fotos Pittadjis

EARLIER today a group of around 100 Cypriots and expatriates mounted a peaceful protest outside the new Paphos offices of the law firm Fotos Pittadjis.

The protest was organised by those who believe they have suffered at the hands of Pittadjis – and they were supported by other property buyers who also consider they are having problems as a result of their lawyer’s dereliction.

The firm, which also has offices in Larnaca and Paralimni, was cited in a recent court case involving a British couple who bought a property at Ayia Thekla and who came very close to losing their home after their developer, Lane Homes, sold it to someone else behind their backs.

Pittadjis is also at the centre of an on-going legal battle between Conor O’Dwyer and the Paralimni-based property developer Christoforos Karayiannas & Son Ltd. In this case too, the developer sold a property for a second time to another buyer.

Many of the protestors spoke of how they had been hoodwinked into buying mortgaged property because their lawyers had failed to advise them properly. Some complained that they had tried to sue their lawyers but had been unable to find another lawyer prepared to take on their case.

Typical of those protesting was Chris Wood from Wrexham North Wales who bought an apartment in Mazatos. “Pittadjis did the conveyancing but did not tell me that the land on which the development is being built is mortgaged. I believe that without unscrupulous lawyers in Cyprus, property developers wouldn’t be able to prey on unsuspecting buyers. They are the root of all problems and cause unnecessary suffering to innocent families,” he said.

‘Kate’ and her husband are in Cyprus to see what progress is being made on their apartment. She told me “MRI introduced us to a lawyer in Paphos who they said was very good. But the latest plans we have seen for our apartment are completely different to what we agreed to buy and it’s much smaller. I spoke with her (the lawyer) and said that we wanted our money back. She just shrugged her shoulders and said ‘this is Cyprus and that is not possible’. I’ve now been told by someone here this morning that she’s the developer’s girlfriend. How can she be acting on our behalf?

One supporter, who preferred not to have his name published, commented “We all work hard for what we have and to see someone just play with land, property and developments is unjust. We are the lucky ones; we have our Title Deeds and a lovely home. But I just think how on earth I would behave in the situation that some of these people are in through no fault of their own.

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