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MEP calls for Cyprus land law reform

During his review of the Cyprus presidency of the European Union, Sir Graham Watson MEP called for a reform of the island’s land laws and the establishment of a banking ombudsman.

ON the occasion of the handover of the presidency of the European Union from Cyprus to Ireland Sir Graham Watson MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, gave the following address:

“President Christofias, I was rather critical of your Presidency at the outset, but I would like to congratulate your government on a fruitful first presidency – and to salute especially the excellent work of Andreas Mavroyiannis in difficult political and personal circumstances.

“Liberal Democrats regret that no progress has been made on matters on your island affecting hundreds of thousands of other EU citizens, such as reform of your land laws and the establishment of a banking ombudsman. And we are deeply concerned about discrimination by your broadcasters, especially CyBC or RIK as you call it, against our candidate in your current presidential election.

“But we hope that your experience of seeing how other member states function will inspire the domestic reforms, which will make your country a well-functioning modern democracy.”

Readers' comments

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  • Jill says:

    Unfortunately, our incredibly devious President would have only heard the first words of ugh flattery. He would, as usual, have been totally deaf to the rest as ‘people’ are not part of his thinking.

  • viennese says:


    > But we hope that your experience of seeing how other member states function <


  • Martyn says:

    Right words used in the excellent Sting in the Tail final para – but sadly addressed to the person least inclined to take any notice or action.

    Lets just hope Sir Graham’s key final point gets further and wider strategic airings and the Message gets across to those who really care about the outrageous shambles of a property market that is today’s Cyprus.

    Yes, the Troika should use its clout to ensure wide-ranging and urgent remedials are stitched into the final version of the MoU!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    I totally support Graham Watson, but I think he’s wasting his time talking to yesterday’s man, Catastrofias.

    Better to keep his powder dry and have another go after March.

    Perhaps Graham and his like minded colleagues should also be feeding this sort of info to the Troika.

  • @Stelios Hambis – Thanks for your comment.

    In 2007 I met with the (then) Finance Minister Michalis Sarris along with Denis O’Hare of the Cyprus Property Action Group.

    At Mr Sarris request, we wrote a report ‘Cyprus Property Pitfalls: a time for action‘ for the Cyprus Government detailing the problems faced by Cypriot and non-Cypriot property buyers together with recommendations on how those problems could be resolved.

    That report was delivered (by hand) to Mr Sarris in January 2008.

    To make matters worse, the Chinese and Russians are now complaining of the very same problems that the government has known about for many years.

    Then came the election and silence.

    I met Mr Sarris again last year. He remembered our meeting and the report – and asked if we had any feedback from the Government.

    Regrettably I had to answer “no”.

    The Cyprus Property Action Group has been busy petitioning the EU – and some of the many problems will be resolved by the bailout terms.

    But there is still much to do.

    To make matters worse, the Chinese and Russians are having the very same problems that the government has know about for many years. I believe there are too many vested interests for them to do anything really positive to sort out the mess they have created by their inaction.

  • Stelios Hambis says:

    We welcome the comments on how to improve our land laws and regulations. Unfortunately, they only listen to MPs or pressure groups from abroad. I would like to welcome more such comments and hopefully one day something will be done. I believe Troika should ask the Government for a real “Property Amnesty”, and not one where we all fill in a piece of paper, just to show to EU that we are doing something. They need to be hands on and must assign a whole department to this field. It’s killing our industry and our country and consequently we will soon have no jobs as nobody will be interested in buying property in Cyprus any more!

  • Cyprus Lover says:

    I was going to make a comment about “pigs and flying” but Denton Mackrell put my thoughts perfectly

  • Adrian says:

    I have just finished translating that speech using all the words between the lines but I don’t think you will allow it Nigel!! We can only hope that the next president is more “European” and pulls Cyprus out of the dark ages and into a 21st century democracy.

  • @Gavin – Possibly – Sir Graham is a cunning linguist.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Could a slight hint of tongue in cheekism be detected here?

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Inspire domestic reforms?? Oooh look! Isn’t that a great fat porker with wings flying down from the Troodos?

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


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