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Real Estate Bonanza to stop?
11 March 2018
The fact that we are a self-destructing country is beyond discussion since our past history over the years proves this.
The Government of Demetris Christofias is a point in hand, that lead us to the Bail In of the 3/2013, as is the “Heroic” Cypriot MPs who turned down the E.U. proposal for a 9% haircut on deposits, which lead to the 90% haircut on the deposits. Yet even today and following the extreme misery that this has caused, our “Heroic” MPs not only did not apologise (not even one), but they appear without a shame in tv and the media repeating themselves how correct they were!! Similarly the same politicians who have lead the Cyprus political problem to a dangerous situation, even get worse.
Notwithstanding the politics which is the basis of a good economy, we have adopted a most attractive scheme to help recover the economy using the visa/ passports measures, which have brought about €4.800 bil. income from abroad of fresh money in real estate and other type of investments (hotels, schools, hospitals/clinics etc etc) and helping the banks in reducing their non-performing loans, as well as numerous developers who were at the bankruptcy stage to revive and expand and reducing the unemployment of the building industry to practically nil.
Yet, here we are again, with small politics and animosity/empathy amongst politicians we have now some MPs raising now the question of having this measure of passports/visa to be more or less abandoned.
The suggestion even of having foreign or local investors published their name is a disaster. We are not alone in this and there are numerous countries which provide a similar scheme which are now delighted to see disappointed Cyprus foreign investors being forced out towards their direction.
Yes, we have overdone it to the extent that we place advertisements in the airports and other places, but instead of correcting this measure, to go the other way and by “our” stupidity to have this measure more or less cancelled is beyond us.
We are the first (6 months ago) to report in this paper that the situation went out of control and we blamed both the Government and various auditing/legal firms of exceeding the limit. We even proposed an alternative plan for foreign investors to be directed to specific regions in Cyprus, using some sort of a quota system of distribution in order to benefit localities such as Nicosia and the mountainous regions which have been left behind of this bonanza. Because we are not alone in the E.U., several other competitive countries are now raising this issue and soon we will have a difficult situation in our hands. And all these because a couple of our MPs raise this point notwithstanding the Government and the Business Associations objecting to it.
Foreign investors of such a scale have helped not only real estate, but the hotel industry (see new hotels, upgrading ones) and even as far as private students halls development, addressing (for their own benefit of course) the lack of student accommodation. If one examines who these MPs are, one can ascertain that they have never worked in private practice neither they have gone through the reduction of their income and firing own staff (which is in itself “heart breaking”). Also those MPs get travelling expenses (without having a car) their pension starts at the age of 60 years old (whereas all the others at 63 or 65 years) tax free allowances and so on. It is good to have some objections on this passport measure and we are the first to warn the Government and the developers that corrective measure is needed, but to go to these extreme by practically abolishing, it is beyond us.
If we turn the table around, do you think that Cypriot citizens deposits, acquisition of real estate etc in other countries and even assuming that they have been done legally with “clean” money etc, do you expect that Cypriots will keep their investments abroad?
These sort of matters should be discussed by all means, but to go out with publications etc will cause those who believed in us to have problems - e.g. some countries do not allow the exporting of money from their own countries, others do not allow their nationals to have dual passports etc etc. What is wrong with us at the end?