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Sunday, May 31, 2020
Home Legal Matters MEP questions compliance with MoU (update)

MEP questions compliance with MoU (update)

UNDER the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed between Cyprus and the troika, the island’s government is obliged to publish quarterly reports of progress on a number of key parameters.

However, the first of these published progress reports (see Title Deed issuance progress and mortgages) fails to meet the requirements of the MoU.

In a written question to the European Parliament, MEP Daniel Hannan has asked the Commission what action it is taking, or proposing to take, to address this matter.

Question for written answer E-012351-13
to the Commission

Rule 117
Daniel Hannan (ECR)

Subject: Cyprus Memorandum of Understanding

The Cyprus bailout Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) states the following:

‘By [Q4-2014], eliminate the title deed issuance backlog to less than 2,000 cases of immovable property sales contracts with title deed issuance pending for more than one year. The authorities will enhance cooperation with the financial sector to ensure the swift clearing of encumbrances on title deeds to be transferred to purchasers of immovable property, and implement guaranteed timeframes for the issuance of building certificates and title deeds; publish quarterly progress reviews of the issuance of building and planning permits, certificates, and title deeds, as well as title deed transfers and related mortgage operations throughout the duration of the programme.’

Cyprus has just published the first quarterly progress review, which does not meet the requirements of the MoU.

For instance, title deeds transferred to purchasers, among other requirements, are simply not reported. Furthermore, given the reported 3,521 quarterly title deeds ‘issued’ for the second quarter, which are in any case issued in the developers’ names and cannot be transferred to the buyers until all encumbrances are removed, it is clear that the deadline of Q4-2014 for eliminating the backlog of over 100,000 cannot be met.

It would therefore appear that Cyprus currently has little intention of complying with the requirements of the MoU. What action is the Commission taking, or does it propose to take, to address this matter?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission (added)

It is correct that at July’s first review mission of programme conditionality, the Cypriot authorities met the MoU requirements only partially on the elimination of title deed backlogs, as reflected in the September Compliance Report:

The Commission is currently working with the Cypriot authorities to improve the reporting so that the public is fully informed in the shortest feasible timespan.


  1. Recently, Danial Hannan asked another question requiring a written answer.

    Question for written answer E-009932/2012 to the Commission Rule 117 Daniel Hannan (ECR) Subject: Justice for property buyers in Cyprus Tens of thousands of property buyers in Cyprus have developer mortgages on their homes thanks to the corrupt actions of property developers, banks and lawyers. The Government of Cyprus is complicit in these crimes owing to its failure to publicise and enforce the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD), as per official complaint CHAP(2011)3252. Unless the Commission punishes the Cypriot Government for this and offers redress to the victims, is it not also complicit in these crimes?

    I haven’t seen any reply to this. In my view the EU commission is fending off the issues and protecting the Cyprus government in the long-term interest of the EU banking system and the Euro. A few gullible house-buyers getting screwed in Cyprus is small beer in comparison.

    Without title deeds, what’s legally and rightfully ours? I don’t know any more.

  2. Hi All, to quote Andrew “No bank or developer should have any claim on any property that is already sold and paid for” What we ALL need is A Really Big Time International Lawyer to come here to Cyprus and help ALL of US to get what is Legally and Rightfully Ours,
    ie Title Deeds, unencumbered, perhaps one who can also work Miracles. Is there anybody out there.
    Regards Maxwell

  3. Let’s see if the next review report meets the MoU requirement fully, now ‘that’s another fine mess you got me into Olly Rehn’ is involved.

    I think Stanopulous may have other ideas though.

  4. As much as Mr Hannan’s questions and efforts are to be applauded I don’t think the EU will be rushing to ensure compliance. Rather an amended MOU or amended timescales and requirements will find their way to the forefront until such time as further pressure leads to embarrassment whereupon the matter will fade into oblivion and when resurrected periodically by the likes of Mr Hannan will attract non descript, ambiguous and non committal answers. The commission will never take any action which in any way embarrasses member states and will always hide behind the argument of the sovereignty of member state governments. But we live in hope albeit forlorn.

  5. Andrew.

    Cyprus IS and will REMAIN a “rogue state”, as you put it, until and unless there’s a monumental sea change in the operation of all its institutions, both public and private: Government; Judiciary; Land Registry; banks; development companies.

    From where I’m standing, since the new President and his government were elected in February, nothing whatsoever has changed to alter that view.

  6. It is clear that Lawyers in Cyprus failed homebuyers on many levels including their duty of care and the requirement to perform due diligence.

    Sadly it is also apparent that those responsible for allowing Cyprus to join the EU also failed miserably in those same areas. It could even be argued that Cyprus was (is) unable to meet the standards described in all 35 chapters of the acquis.

    Now is the time for leaders in Cyprus and the EU to show true leadership and make good all that is wrong. People have invested in property in Cyprus in good faith. Give all BUYERS their title deeds now.No bank or developer should have any claim on any property that is already sold and paid for.

    Buyers were told that they were protected by Cyprus specific performance laws. Then why are buyers being harassed by Banks who they have had no dealings with.

    So is Cyprus complying with EU laws and standards or is it a rouge state. If it is the latter then surely it deserves no more bail outs. Lest we forget it is ordinary citizens who foot the bill and suffer the hardships.

  7. @Costas.
    The Brits are now largely aware that Cyprus is a corrupt ‘no-buy-zone’ and have responded accordingly. No doubt the Russians and Chinese will discover the same before long but while applauding every effort by MEP’s to hold the EU to its responsibility for scrutinising the progress being made on the Cyprus bail-out MoU, let’s not forget that the EU itself stands accused of corruption and waste to the extent that its own auditors, the ECA, has not been able to sign off the EU’s annual accounts for the past 19 years following allegations of irregularities and fraud. No wonder EU president Herman Van Rompuy urged the ECA to tone down its criticisms for fear of damaging headlines in the press. The typical wishy-washy answer given by Mr Rehn above says it all.

  8. Cyprus seems to have been breaking laws while the rest of Europe try to comply with legislation. It’s jobs for the boys over there and Cypriots seem to get an easy ride over the Brits, even in law courts. The stench of corruption will eventually be too strong and hopefully this lovely island will implode. With the help of MPs and social media we are starting to find out exactly why Brits and other nationalities should not buy in Cyprus. Their laws are not like ours, their justice system certainly is not, and with thousands of accusations against allegedly corrupt lawyers and bankers, this island should be a no go area until it is totally cleaned up and accepts all it’s wrong doings !

  9. @Steve.R – Developers cannot take out new mortgages on properties they’ve already sold. But then reschedule, extend, etc. mortgages they already have (if the bank will permit them).

  10. Title deeds issued in favour of the developer. Developers can now borrow even more money secured against the completed sites. This is how the whole mess started in the first place isn’t it

  11. Many thanks to Mr Daniel Hannan and his Team, for keeping up the constant & necessary pressure on the EC and the Cypriot Authorities.

    Who by now, must reluctantly realise that we (ie; C.P.A.G. et al,) are not going give up, seeking justice for the Property Buyers in Cyprus. RB.

  12. It is about time that the Cypriot establishment was brought to heel.Well done Daniel Hannan, if there were more like him the government could not wave away challenges to rotten practices.Get your act together Cyprus and start behaving in a responsible way for the good of the island. The “foreigners” are not going to bail you out, Cyprus is only in the EU when it benefits them but feel no obligation to comply with the rules.

  13. A huge thank you to Mr Daniel Hannan for pressing the Commission to ensure that Cyprus complies with the requirements of the MOU. The Commission’s reply and any action in our interests it subsequently takes will be important to many caught up in the title deed issue.

    Mr Hannan’s positive action contrasts starkly with the enigmatic and seemingly unhelpful comments by Mr David Lidington, UK Minister for Europe, reported in the article “Constructive work on title deed issue” by Stefanos Evripidou published on 7 November 2013.

    Could these gentlemen be collaborating? One would like to think so, but time will tell. KD.

  14. Well Done, Daniel Hannan. We need more, much more, probably, given the intransigence of the Cyprus government, of this kind of attention and Action on dealing with this UnHoly Mess!

  15. Obviously they can’t meet the targets due to the NP developer loans secured on many “sold” properties.

    This situation to protect innocent buyers must be addressed very, very soon particularly with the other related news stories on repossessions.

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