The European Parliament Petition Committee decides to make investigations with respect to Famagusta
The European Parliament Petition Committee will visit Cyprus in the fall in order to collect information regarding the property issue and the destruction of the island’s cultural heritage in Famagusta.
A petition signed by 30.000 people to have the city of Famagusta returned to its legitimate owners, was presented by Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos to EP President Hans Gert Pottering. The Mayor also expressed his disagreement with the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn's view that Famagusta should be returned to its lawful inhabitants as part of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem
A Commission spokesman insisted that this issue is under the exclusive competence of the UN, pointing out that this issue cannot be linked with the EU regulation on trade between the Union and the areas of Cyprus that are not under the effective control of the Cypriot government.
Cypriot MEP Mr. Yiannakis Matsis indicated that a possible return of Famagusta would be a goodwill gesture by Turkey and a confidence building measure, paving the way for a Cyprus settlement. He noted that “We cannot wait for the solution of the Cyprus problem to have the city given back to its inhabitants”.
The delegation to visit Cyprus comprising representatives from all political groups of the European Parliament will include the results of its visit in a draft resolution to be considered by the European Parliament plenary.