Government closes Chlorakas migrant residency complex

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The government on Monday decided to shut down a residency complex inhabited by asylum seekers in Chlorakas, Paphos, in response to recent incidents in the village.

The decision was taken at a meeting held at the Presidential Palace, chaired by President Nikos Christodoulides.

Following the meeting, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis announced a series of measures to ensure “safety and security” in the area.

Letymbiotis said police were instructed to execute the order immediately after the meeting, which was attended by Attorney General George Savvides, the ministers of Interior and Justice, Constantinos Ioannou and Anna Koukkides Procopiou and police chief Stelios Papatheodorou.

He said all migrants are to be transferred to a reception centre in Kofinou, where the migration department will record all asylum seekers who have been living in the contentious Ayios Nikolaos apartment complex in Chlorakas.

People who are found to be illegally on the island will be deported.

Vulnerable groups and families with minors will have support from the deputy welfare ministry, said Letymbiotis.

The government spokesperson said legal residents will be given two weeks to find an alternative place to live.

Asked if the area will be fenced off, the spokesperson said all necessary measures would be taken to implement the decree issued by the Paphos district officer in November 2021, but it has yet to be implemented.

According to the decree, the Ayios Nikolaos complex should have been closed for health and safety reasons.

At least 600 are living at the complex.

The issue was reheated after the Electricity Authority of Cyprus cut power to the complex and placed the substation in the area under guard.

Around 100 people began protesting last week and demanding to be housed elsewhere.

The protest turned sour when the police anti-riot unit intervened, using tear gas against the demonstrators.

Some disgruntled Chlorakas residents carried out their own protest last week, holding banners which read #NoMoreFakeRefugees, calling the government to act as they felt unsafe.