It emerged on Friday that Interior Minister Nicos Nouris issued a decree last month banning additional asylum seekers from establishing permanent residency in the Paphos district village of Chloraka.
The decree, that falls under the Refugee Law and which was published in the official gazette of the Republic of Cyprus on December 11, 2020, effectively forbids asylum seekers, barring the ones that were already living in the village permanently, from settling down there.
Nouris justified the decree on grounds of “the mass settlement of seekers of international protection the Chloraka community,” which he says “creates social problems, and has also contributed to demographic changes to the population of the community in question”.
The decree added that these problems must be tackle immediately “for reasons of public order and public interest”.
Exceptions to the decree are asylum seekers who had registered a permanent address in the village prior to the publication of the decree, as well as their family members.
Current estimations posit that Syrian nationals constitute over 20% of the population of Chloraka, local media reported Friday, while the local community has in the recent past called for police assistance in dealing with safety issues it claims stem from the increasing numbers of asylum seekers in the village.