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Title Deeds, Mr Anastasiades

Nothing will happen to resolve the Title Deed fiasco unless President Anastasiades grasps the importance of this problem which, with the exception of various vacuous promised, his predecessors have ignored.

NOW that the over-rated Anastasiades-Eroglu coffee afternoon has come and gone, perhaps it is time we returned to some state of normalcy and took a serious look at core issues that have dogged our society, the economy and the perception that Cyprus has in other people’s minds.

Of course, the biggest thorn is the Title Deeds fiasco, that, despite promises from all Interior ministers and Attorney Generals, remains unresolved. Our Risk Watch columnist Alan Waring raised the issue in an appropriately timed article last week. Even the dreaded Troikans attempted to have a go at the issue, but will probably fall flat on their faces as they, too, couldn’t care less about the home buyers who have been duped by crooks, both in the property sector and within the banks.

Here, we have to make a clear definition of ‘home buyer’ rather than ‘property buyer’ for two reasons:

  1. the right to a home is enshrined in EU law, whereas the right to a property is not, and
  2. we are talking primarily here about people who stand to lose the homes they live in – few are property investors in the commercial sense.

With all the name calling regarding major property developers (Aristo, Leptos, Shacolas) piling up unsecured loans and creating a black hole within Bank of Cyprus of about €1 billion euros, perhaps it is time we also started to name and shame the head honchos at Alpha Bank, Bank of Cyprus, USB and possibly ex-Laiki Popular, who, logically, must be the accountable persons at the bank who have dished out the now non-performing loans or have knowingly allowed developers to get away with murder.

But as with all else in Cyprus, nothing will happen unless President Anastasiades grasps the importance of this problem, which his predecessors had ignored.

There is a whole issue about how we tend to use impersonal language as if ‘the banks’, ‘the government’ etc. are amorphous, inanimate monoliths. There are flesh-and-blood monsters – sociopaths probably – who do all these appalling things and it is time we should start using the names of those ultimately responsible and accountable, even if they personally did not ‘pull the trigger’.

There is the general point about anonymity masking accountability and the specific issue of these banks rapaciously going after innocent home buyers who were never party to their developer’s mortgages or the latter’s defaults. Even if they personally did not mastermind and operate these ‘white collar terrorist activities’, the past chairmen and general managers of the above-mentioned banks must have been aware of them and no doubt had to authorise them, while the present executive leadership cannot claim ignorance.

Quite apart from the moral degeneracy, there is the short, medium and long-term damage this fiasco will do to the Cyprus property sector and the overall economy. After this, who will ever trust a Cyprus bank again? Foreign investors in all sectors are now much more aware of what is going on here – and they do not like it.

Title Deeds Mr Anastasiades

Readers' comments

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  • aggis demetriou says:

    Nothing will happen to resolve the title deed fiasco.

    I agree to that!

  • Martyn says:

    President, Troika (ECB, IMF etc), all must be involved. One would expect a President to face up to such a massive Blockage against sorting out the rest of the islands, largely self inflicted, problems but have we seen any real signs yet that he is prepared to ‘uncover’ all that has been going on? NO!

    As others have said, the vast monies involved have probably long-since been moved outside Cyprus, likely outside EU, who knows. But, however large these aggregated problems are, the series of solutions can only be driven, directed, managed by :

    President (and his government of course), Troika, all of these.

    They must by now know WHAT has happened, how LARGE the overall problems are and WHAT ACTIONS MEASURES, PENALTIES will need to be involved to resolve.. The longer they leave these hideous, festering problems, the worse it will become for RoC

  • Peter Davis says:

    The Bank were negligent.

    Money was lent against property which had already been sold, rgwy overvalued land and failed to chase up NPL’s where used ‘creative accounting’ was used to redefine the definition of the 90 day rule.

    Simply the Bank being negligent haven’t got a leg to stand on and should take ‘the hit’.

  • Philoctetes says:

    @ Denton Mackrell. Comments well taken. Underlying motives for inaction aside, I think you have fingered what is in fact the crux of the matter: what form and degree of coercion, by whom and upon whom, will it require to effect some action?

  • M R Hannah says:

    Dear Mr Anastasiades

    Mr President, I paid for My Villa, The full Amount On Time as requested by the Developers. I had all the Monies Transferred from the UK from My Bank , to the Bank Here in Cyprus. Paid all the Correct Dues and Fees I was told to pay by The Land Registry; Lawyers; Bank Officials; and Developers etc. I was told it would take about 4 Years before I could get the Title Deeds, as this was the Cyprus way of doing things, It is now over 8 Years Later, and we are still waiting!!!!

    Do you not Think it is Time that “YOU, Mr President” got Personally involved with this Travesty of INJUSTICE, and Did something for US the Innocent Buyers of Properties here in This Beautiful Island that we chose to come and Live. DO this for your own Conscience and because it is Right.

    Thank you
    Kind Regards
    Mr M R Hannah

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to actually get a response to this from Anastasiades?

    A lack of response could be interpreted as proof of complicity with those who operate the existing unfit for purpose system?

  • Clive says:

    Alas, the president doesn’t have the clout to do anything about TD’s. It’s the developers, lawyers and banks that control and exploit TD’s. They have all taken the money generated from the property market out of Cyprus and the EU’s control. So its either the Cyprus govt. pays up for the NPL’s to enable TD’s to be issued or the stalemate continues. Remember Cyprus is not alone in this scam and other EU’s countries are effect – to pay off the NPL’s of so many EU banks would definitely bring down the eurozone hence the differing.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    @Philoctetes. I think it is not an either/or issue and that both acts/omissions and motivations of the perpetrators are relevant. The Financial Mirror editor is right to highlight such appalling behaviour. The motivations of such people have long been aired on this website and elsewhere and I am sure there will be no shortage of attribution of motives on this particular occasion.

    The minds of criminals and wrongdoers are indeed likely to show some degree of sociopathy and therefore, by definition, they are unlikely either to recognize their sins or to change their behaviour voluntarily. They are likely only to respond appropriately if they are ‘made an offer they cannot refuse’ i.e. coercion by a more powerful force which they cannot evade. Is that force the Troika alone or in combination with the President? Or??

  • Philoctetes says:

    Surely the question is not so much whether the president (and others) grasp the importance of the issue, but why they choose not to act on it.

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

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