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26th February 2024
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Castles Built on Sand

Sand Castle

THOSE whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”, an ancient Greek saying goes. Judging by the growing eccentricities in the Cyprus property market, there are quite a few parties heading for destruction.

For example, some developers seem to have declared open warfare on buyers and any who try to protect themselves or defend the rights of buyers. Is threat of legal action, assault or other intimidation a good way to attract new buyers?

The Long March

OVER the past 5 years, Risk Watch has commented many times on the overall scandal of Title Deeds, property fraud and official blind eyes and deaf ears.

The recent Financial Mirror Editorial ‘A Sad Day for Cyprus Property’ plus the article from George Mouskides of APPDM ‘We have not learnt our lesson’ have highlighted yet again the uphill battle that property buyers, especially foreigners, have in Cyprus both against those developers and lawyers who decide to treat them badly and against the state infrastructure and justice administration, which thus far have failed to protect them.

The new government legislation may partly correct some aspects but it almost certainly will not fix the overall problem. For example, it will not address the developer mortgage debt bubble hanging over Cyprus, estimated to be at least Euros 7 billion. It does not address the issue of rogue lawyers or errant banks or inefficient government departments or the tardy justice system. No obvious anti-corruption/anti-rusfeti mechanisms are included.

Much of the buyer protection, which the government has asserted as being exemplary in its official response to probes by the European Parliament, is therefore virtual or illusory. Fortunately, the EC is still pursuing the matter.

Risk Watch understands that further questions about the Cyprus government and its handling of the property scandal are being tabled in the EP, the initial ones being:

With reference to previous Parliamentary Written Questions E-0110/09, E-6793/08 and E-6513/08.

1. Cyprus Title Deeds Legislation

With a view to the new legislation that is about to be put in place by the Cypriot government to address the problem of withheld Title Deeds, would the Commission answer the following questions:

Does the Commission agree that this new legislation will not address the main problem cited in the numerous buyer petitions or indeed the above-referenced Parliamentary Questions