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12° Nicosia,
25 June, 2024
 
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No dignity for elderly refugee thanks to government

''...this elderly refugee, who bore the burden of war...has to suffer the hypocrisy of a state that pretended to care about its refugees but only cared enough to gain party quotas...''

Eleni Xenou

Eleni Xenou

An elderly refugee, who is facing health problems and lives in one of the 43 unrepairable refugee apartment buildings without a lift, is confronted with a harsh reality in the twilight of his life. He cannot visit a doctor, go to a hospital or attend his wife's funeral without the fire brigade's assistance to bring a special machine to lower him from his upper-floor apartment. As one of the MPs highlighted a few years ago, these people are brought down like objects using special machinery, but nothing has been done to address this problem.

In his youth, this same man had to endure war, refugeeism, months in tents, and the disintegration of his life. He had to find the strength to rebuild it from scratch, manage a series of traumas, and support the state with his own hands. However, in the last years of his life, this elderly refugee, who bore the burden of war and refugeeism and made his back a stepping-stone for every great patriotic politician who handed out hopes and promises in his path, has to suffer the hypocrisy of a state that pretended to care about its refugees but only cared enough to gain party quotas, preference points for leaders, or even a reason for the existence of mediocre politicians.

"despite the political cronies' attempts to sugarcoat it, this elderly refugee, who cannot even get down from his apartment to go to a doctor or his wife's funeral, remains a second-class citizen"

Unfortunately, despite the political cronies' attempts to sugarcoat it, this elderly refugee, who cannot even get down from his apartment to go to a doctor or his wife's funeral, remains a second-class citizen. Today, he is seeing his dignity trampled on as he has to pick up the pieces and move to another apartment if he wants to be safe. The government's plan says that he will be granted a rent allowance, which is the only problem he has to face.

The reality is that someone will have to find a home for him, pack up his belongings, move him, and he will have to adjust to another place. It may be difficult for him to cope financially as the benefit will not cover the full rent, but these are considered minor or necessary evils. While the rent subsidy assistance may be important, it cannot negate the harsh reality that the elderly refugee has to deal with again, nor can it give him the stamina to move elsewhere. All that remains for him is to pray that no strong earthquake will occur and continue to rely on the fire brigade to answer his calls when he needs the special machine to take him down to go to the doctor. Unfortunately, everything else is merely corrective actions and delayed solutions by a state that should have cared more about its refugees but did not.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

 

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