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Angry Pissouri residents block highway

Pissouri residents blocked the Limassol Paphos highway to protest over the government’s delay in compensating homeowners whose homes are being destroyed by the landslide to the south east of the village.

Pissouri residents block highwayTHE COMMUNITY of Pissouri blocked the Limassol to Paphos highway on Sunday morning to demonstrate against the lack of compensation from the state for homes that are slipping down the hillside.

Demonstrators held banners over a bridge on the highway near Pissouri, while others stood in the road blocking traffic.

“The protest is taking place as we consider that the state is delaying to solve a problem that should have been resolved some time ago,” said community leader of Pissouri Lazaros Lazarou.

The person who is losing his house has no time to wait, he added, and the community expects the immediate support of these people, and support of the area so that the problem does not get worse.

“We demand what has happened in similar cases in other villages in Cyprus, where the state, in worse times than we are now facing, has moved entire villages. For us it is just one neighbourhood,” he continued.

He said he hoped the demonstration showed those who need to take the action to do it immediately as the demonstrators are prepared to step up measures.

One of the affected homes in Pissouri

Lawyer for the home owners Elina Zoi said according to the district office six homes have been branded too dangerous to live in while another 40 face problems, among which 15 are considered dangerous even though the owners continue to live in them as they have nowhere else to go.

“With the heavy rains this winter the situation has got much worse. The number of residents affected increases day by day,” she added, saying that every month the land moves by 30cm and problems are exacerbated by issues with electricity and water supply.

There is also an issue with the condition of the roads worsening, which means even those whose homes have no problems face difficulties.

In February the government agreed to compensate home owners in the Limnes area and to carry out a geological survey on the area.

After this announcement Greens’ MP Giorgos Perdikis said that the government moves at a snail’s pace. By the time measures are taken, he said, most of the buildings will have collapsed leaving scores of residents without a home.

In 2015, some of the property owners formed the Pissouri Housing Initiative Group (PHIG) and paid out thousands of euros to obtain studies and papers from various renowned international experts and also satellite imaging, at a cost of €25,000, which measures the movement of the land. According to the study, the movement is up to 40cm per year, which is a lot when it’s pressing against a house.

Damage includes cracks in interior and exterior walls, swimming pools, roads, pavements, footpaths, retaining walls, drains, water pipes and other infrastructure works.

The land slippage is due to failure to provide adequate infrastructure to manage groundwater, and allowing development to go ahead in the area. Residents blame authorities that have permitted large scale development but failed to carry out infrastructure works either to manage the groundwater, or to stabilise the sliding hillside.

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  • MartynG says:

    This whole matter is so needing High Level e.g. URGENT commitment and Support from Cyprus Government, who as usual, are Duckin n Diving to avoid committing to essential Action. I personally believe they, the Owners, this so badly affected, are Right to use HiWay blockages etc to get attention , get ACTION!

    Surely by now they! Cyprus govt. must realise how these matters are being transmitted Round the EU, UK in earnest, only time before Cyprus’ EU partners get involved, give the Cyprus Government the damned good proverbial Kick up the Pants they deserve.

    Cyprus per se will b4 long become, like parts of Spain, NO GO areas for potential Non-Cypriot property seekers…and if this gets much further escalated, also drive down Holidaymakers, Tourists etc, based on Higher Level publicity about this whole MESS.

    So far no one in Cyprus Government seems to be urgently addressing these long known problems.

    Only high profile initiatives by those affected, and their supporters, can help ensure these problems are resolved and the people affected Fully Compensated, as a matter of URGENCY!!

  • Steve Redmond says:

    We have the same situation in Nata where the hillside is reclaiming the land on which the houses (7) have been built. Only 2 residents are left as the rest of the properties are falling to pieces. So yes I do feel sorry for the people in Pissouri, but the practice of allowing houses to be built without any surveys by the local authority or the architects acting for the builder is common especially in Paphos.

    Good luck with your compensation payout you have been promised.

    Ed: As I understand the situation in Nata, the developer (Adrian Mills), didn’t obtain any permits before he built. He fled Cyprus and in a TV interview in 2014 he blamed everyone else for what happened.

  • Phil says:

    Well done Pissouri residents but how about next time you try to field a wider audience by letting us know in advance so that we can join you. Sorry I am not on facebook (and never will be) and don’t come from Pissouri but would be willing to join any LEGAL protest.

    Keep up the battle
    Good luck as you will need it against any CY government

    Phil

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Well done to all involved.

    It’s about time that ‘unconnected’ citizens got the same treatment from the Cypriot Government as ‘connected’ ones always seem to do.

  • Kim Souvertjis says:

    No apology necessary Stan ..if I’d been there I would have joined you!! My late husband was a civil engineer and he was just horrified at this situation ..I wish you well ..never give up as my dad used to say

  • Stan Bateman says:

    We apologise to anyone who was inconvenienced by the road blockage. Unfortunately, the government has shown that it will only take action when threatened either by unions or severe disruption.

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