South Cyprus MPs are up in arms because the oldest high school in Cyprus is being refurbished with building materials quarried in the north.
The Pancyprian Gymnasium founded in 1812 requires tiles that can only be found in the north.
What upsets the MPs in particular, is the fact that the tile factory was previously owned by a Greek Cypriot prior to 1974 and that the material is being quarried in the Besparmak (Pentadaktylos) Mountains.
However, importing these materials is legal under Green Line Regulation which permits trading between the two communities on the island.
Chair of the South’s House watchdog committee Zachaarias Koulias said that the Green Line Regulation should not have unlimited discretion to break the laws of the (South) Republic,
“Today has been the saddest day of my parliamentary career,” Koulias said.
“It is inconceivable that, in the most official way, we placed an order with a factory which belongs to a Greek Cypriot refugee and which is being preyed upon by the other side, all the while citing the Green Line Regulation as a pretext”, he said.
MP Marinos Sizopoulos said that construction materials from the north were being used in other public buildings in addition to the Pancyprian Gymnasium.
Materials from the north had even been imported for construction works at the Tymvos site in Makedonitissa, a military cemetery for Greek Cypriots who died in Cyprus in 1964 and 1974.
“It is an insult to the Republic of Cyprus and a mark of disrespect for those who fell in 1974,” Sizopoulos said.
The Green Line Regulation, adopted in 2004, sets out the terms under which persons and goods can cross the border.
In 2014, plastic products were the most traded item, followed by fresh fish, building materials/articles of stone and raw scrap material.