NICOSIA, March 17 (AP) Cypriot authorities will spend more than 100 million euros ($106 million) repairing dozens of buildings built decades ago for refugees from the island’s 1974 Turkish invasion, officials said Thursday. Dilapidated high-rise residential units.
Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the plan expected to immediately repair or completely rebuild 43 buildings deemed most at risk. He spoke after meeting lawmakers, engineers, city officials and representatives of thousands of displaced people.
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Repairs will eventually be made to 315 other apartment buildings built immediately after the invasion, sparked by a coup aimed at unifying Greece and dividing the island by ethnicity.
The buildings are one of dozens of housing complexes hastily constructed in the southern part of the island to house 160,000 Greek Cypriots who fled their homes during fighting in the north as Turkish forces invaded.
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Many of these buildings have been renovated. But last month’s powerful earthquake in Turkey, which killed more than 48,000 people, has raised concerns in Cyprus that repairs are not moving fast enough to ensure they are earthquake-proof.
Tenants will be temporarily housed elsewhere until repairs are completed, Ioannou said. Funding will come from the government and the work will proceed without the red tape and other complications that have previously delayed such repairs.
Building owners will choose from a list of pre-approved civil engineers who will decide whether the structure must be completely rebuilt or require less work, Ioannou said.
“They will decide for themselves, taking into account the amount of funding that will be allocated to them,” the minister said. (Associated Press)
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