The case for the demolition of the “slums” in front of the Larnaca Pan-Cypriot Lyceum fell on the path of justice, since two of the eleven refugee families involved in real estate did not accept the options offered to them. The proposal provided that users of properties built on EVKAF land after 1974 would either receive compensation of 20,000 euros and be transferred to another location, or remain in the area, in a new property on which they would pay rent.
The municipality of Larnaca has already begun “uprooting” most of these buildings and has filed a lawsuit to obtain a demolition order for the remaining two.
The two refugee families explained why they did not agree to the deal, which they say they consider unfair.
“For us, it’s like becoming a refugee for the second time. The first time the Turks kicked us out of the Greek Cypriot land, now they are kicking us out of the Turkish Cypriot land,” said Nikos Kyriakou, a photographer who has lived here with his family on the estate for 47 years.
His daughter, Irini Kyriakou, adds that most of the others who accepted the agreement have closed their facilities. “Everyone was given 20,000 euros to leave, and some may have closed for 40 years and did not need to move. This is our life, but they didn’t come to ask us if we have needs.”
Another refugee family, which owns a shop selling building materials, also requires consultations to find another solution for the remaining two. “They do not agree that we find an average solution, and they want to spoil it for us. We all wonder: Where will we go; Where will we take our things? We have no other source of life. We came here 47 years ago and we have nothing else,” says Andrulla Teodosiou.
Clarifying that the decision to create a parking space was made after the rest of the refugees agreed to leave the area, Larnaca Mayor Andreas Viras said options were provided to property users. “These two do not agree with any of the proposals,” he said. “The Guardian and I have decided that we will treat all eleven owners equally,” he concluded.