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Economy

Greece Tells Church of Cyprus Over Land Deal: Show Us the Money

May 9, 2018

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, called to testify in a land transfer dispute between Greece and the Church of Cyprus, said he was upset with the way he was treated and that the Greek government must first be paid.

Kotzias was on an official visit to Cyprus where he represented Greece in the trial where he objected to the transfer to a company representing Russian interests unless Greece is paid compensation required under the terms of the initial deal.

He also told the judge that this dispute does not fall under either Greek or Cypriot justice but it is an international dispute, according to Kathimerini.

But he was apparently peeved at the way he was being questioned in court by a lawyer representing the Kykkos Holy Monastery and reportedly said that not even during the junta “were Greece and a Greek minister so vilified,” referring to the 1967-74 Greek military dictatorship that ran the country in an oppressive manner.

Kykkos and the Greek government are locked in a legal dispute over a plot of land at Metochi Kykkou in Nicosia, which was sold to Greece in 1999 for the equivalent of 500,000 euros ($593,524).
Cyprus media reports said that the two sides had a verbal agreement that the Embassy of Greece would be built at the site of the plot within 10 years. Bishop Nikiforos was also quoted as saying “he wanted to be able to see the Greek flag flying just across from Metochi.”

It didn’t happen and the Greek Ambassador was said to have heard that the land would be sold off even though the monastery legally didn’t own it and would first have to pay the Greek government 2.3 million euros ($2.73 million) in compensation according to the sales agreement between Metochi and Greece.
Archbishop Chrysostomos had sent a letter to the Greek government agreeing to pay but asking that the Land Registry department  first transfer the property his side didn’t own.

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