Our office spoke on the phone with a Reuters journalist who asked why there was no strong reaction in Cyprus to such EU proposals as a ban on the purchase of real estate by Russians (and Russian companies) in member countries. We were told that at this stage there is no rent, only the purchase of real estate, but who knows what will follow.
The position of the Republic of Cyprus is that measures against Russia should not affect EU member states more than Russia.
We are seeing a reduction in tourism from Russia (mainly in favor of Turkey), a restriction of companies with Russian interests (see RCB Bank), a reduction in staff and an increase in unemployment. What will become of countries like ours that have limited business relations with foreign countries?
Other countries in the European Union have alternative income and may not be hit hard by such moves, but what about us?
It has taken over 30 years to build this Cypriot-Russian real estate relationship and now we are heading towards total collapse?
There have been some negative reactions, for example from Italy and Hungary, while the Baltic countries and Poland, on the other hand, are pushing for a tougher stance.
As if that weren’t enough, pollution charges are expected, which the transport minister says will result in an estimated drop in foreign tourism of about 20 percent due to higher airfare prices. This will also affect the real estate market.
For large-scale developments, due to the inability of public services to respond to applications in a timely manner, it was proposed to appoint a project manager to oversee applications with a view to issuing licenses within 12 months. There is also a provision that this project manager must be a government official and not a private firm. Based on past experience, this will continue to be ineffective.
That is, it will cost the investor €10,000 as an advance payment, plus other expenses before the issuance of a license, plus, of course, the cost of permits and so on. That is, the investor will have to pay for the weakness of the civil service in the hope of a faster reaction, while it is unlikely to be otherwise.
Giving the same people new roles will not lead to a different result. With limited work hours for government employees, getting 40 days of vacation, extending sick leave, etc., we can’t see how using government employees can speed up the process.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – real estate appraisers, real estate agents and real estate consultants