The Kykkos Holy Monastery and the Greek government are locked in a legal dispute over a plot of land in Nicosia, with the Greek foreign minister due to testify soon in court.
The disagreement is over a plot of land at Metochi Kykkou in Nicosia that was sold to the Greek government in 1999 for €500,000. But when Greece was drafting a list of state-owned land for sale and included the plot in Nicosia, the Monastery protested saying it had sold the land only on the condition it would be used for the Greek Embassy.
But the contract reportedly also had a non-written part calling for the embassy to be built within 10 years.
In order for the sale to go forward, the Greek government would be owed €2.3 million according to the terms of the contract
According to daily Phileleftheros, the buyer and the seller had a verbal agreement that the Embassy of Greece would be built at the site of the plot within 10 years. Bishop Nikiforos was also quoted as saying “he wanted to be able to see the Greek flag flying just across from Metochi.”
This did not materialize and soon the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia got wind of another sale in the works, where the land was being readied to be sold to a company of Russian interests.
In order for the sale to go forward, the Greek government would be owed compensation to the tune of €2.3 million, according to the sales agreement between Metochi and Greece.
Archbishop Chrysostomos sent a letter to the Greek side saying the monastery had the money to pay and it was simply asking for the Land Registry department to officiate the transfer before the transaction.
But Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias and the Greek government are asking for the payment to go through before they can agree to the title deed transfer.
The Greek side is basically objecting to the transfer without payment in advance and Kotzias is expected to be cross-examined in early May, during his visit to Cyprus.