A cat’s lick and a promise – the Wise Committee

White tiger licking her paw

Victim’s beware?

Well it looks like it is happening again. Back in 2006 the Home Buyers Pressure Group started to put real pressure on the CTP government of the time, they threatened to protest outside Parliament and to expose to the media the 100s of cases they’d been sent showing the scams which were taking place at the time. Along with these was the famous Aga Saga where 100s of homebuyers were allowed to be scammed by Gary Robb.

At the time, Cyprus Today headlines were “Aga Title Deeds on the way” ( 5/8/2006),  “Aga Buyers keep up the pressure” (23/9/2006), “New  laws to protect future home-buyers” (14/10/2006 ) and then “mass protest called off” (16/12/2006) followed by a poignant “new laws or empty pledges?” (2/12/2006).

What followed was the opening, renaming and eventually closing of the much heralded Property Complaints Office (PCO). The government run office knew all about the property problems because 100s of cases were sent to their office and yet somehow they managed even today to be shocked when we try to talk to them about these problems. Does it give you a feeling that they’ve never bothered to read what was sent to them?

The latest government initiative is the 5 “wise men” committee (Wise Committee – WC for short) whose job it seems is to act as a cheaper version of the PCO and at the outset has made it clear that they have little money to solve the problem. Perhaps Turkey is going to allocate the hundreds of millions of pounds needed to finish these properties and to pay off the mortgages, but I think not. What seems likely is that Kulaksiz 5 (K5), like Greatstones, is going to be held up as an example of what could happen if people stopped protesting and starting court cases in the ECHR and to instead just leave their problems for the government to sort out.

Remember, Pauline Read’s Silent, Peaceful, Candlelit Vigil was not organised just for K5, it is for ALL property victims. To have this called off for any reason is to betray these victims. Of course the government have to solve the K5’s problem, if they don’t then there is likelihood that the publicity of an ECHR judgement against them would look bad in the press. If they pay off K5 then there is surely no ECHR case to answer. How does that help the rest of the scammed purchasers? Well it doesn’t, I believe the best they can hope for is to be offered the HBPG plan with no guarantee of title deeds at the end. How does it help current non-citizens thinking of purchasing here? It doesn’t; they’ll still be expected to pay up and in return all they’ll get is a cat’s lick and a promise.

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