Thousands of British expats due to lose their property in occupied Northern Cyprus

The British Court of Appeal (Civil Division) with its judgement in the Apostolides v Orams case (Case No: A2/2006/2114) on 19 January 2010 has created an unexpected new legal situation in the ongoing struggle in Cyprus between Greek-Cypriot owners of property who had been forced to flee in 1974 and whose land had been grabbed by the invading Turkish Army, and for the mostly foreign speculators who took control of those lands, building, at times, plush ‘holiday’ dwellings on them.

The judgement of the Appelant Court, which under UK law is final and cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court, is expected to be of intense interest not only to the owners of property whose lands were being exploited illegally by foreigners but also by the political groupings of both Turkish and Greek Cypriots who are in the midst of very sensitive negotiations attempting to find a solution to the division of the country and the continuing occupation of the northern part of the island by Turkey.

The ruling effectively nullifies the 1975 Turkish Cypriot absentee property law, which deprived Greek Cypriots of their properties and enabled foreigners to acquire their land and homes in the occupied area.

[15:41:51] Lili Skatavkata: Up to 5,000 British people who own homes in nothern Cyprus could be affected by the ruling

Up to 5,000 British people who own homes in occupied nothern Cyprus could be affected by the ruling

The judgment provides that the earlier Cyprus Court judgments, against whom the Orams appealed in the British Courts, and the European Court of Justice judgements in Luxembourg,(1) be registered and enforced in the UK. In particular, the Cyprus Court had ordered that the Orams should:

  • Cease trespassing on the land belonging to Mr. Apostolides;
  • Deliver up possession of the land to Mr. Apostolides;
  • Pay ‘mesne profits’ (effectively, rent) to Mr. Apostolides in respect of the period of their occupation;
  • Knock down the villa and fencing they had built on the land.

The Orams will also be ordered to pay the legal fees incurred by Mr. Apostolides, regarding the London and Luxembourg proceedings. It is significant that neither the Orams nor their barrister Cherie Blair were present in the Appelant Court when the decision was announced.

England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decision is available at

For more information on how it all started, visit:

Bulgaria with Cheapest Consumer Goods and Services in EU 27

In 2008, Bulgaria had the lowest price level for goods and services of all 27 EU member states, according to latest Eurostat data.

The most expensive EU countries are Denmark with 141% of the EU average, followed by Ireland (127%), Luxembourg (116%), Sweden (114%), Belgium and France (both 111%).

Bulgaria’s consumer prices for goods and services were only 51% of the EU 27 average. Other cheapest EU states are Romania (62%), Lithuania (67%), and Poland (69%).

In the different categories of goods and services, Bulgaria’s price levels are lowest in the EU for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2008 – 67% of the EU 27 average compared to the most highest level – 147% of the average in Denmark.

For cigarettes Romanians paid the least, while smokers in Ireland had to pay dearly.

Clothes are one of the goods, which prices did not vary so much during the period under review. However they were the cheapest in the UK and the most expensive clothes were the ones in Finland.

Again, in the UK electronics could be purchased at a profit, while in Malta they were the most expensive good.

In addition, Bulgaria’s prices for restaurants and hotels services were only 40% of the EU average, whereas the highest prices in the Union in this category, Denmark’s, are 151% of the EU average.


The number of pensioners living in poverty in Britain is among the highest in Europe

By Holly Watt
Daily Telegraph

Almost a third of British pensioners face poverty, the same level as that found in Lithuania, according to European Union statistics. Pensioner poverty in Britain is more than a third higher than the European average.

Pensioners, many of who rely on income from savings accounts, have been particularly badly hit by sharp falls in interest rates. Stock market falls have also reduced the value of pension schemes.

The figures have been seized upon by charities representing the elderly who are campaigning for the state to offer more assistance to poorer pensioners. Poverty is officially defined as those with an income of less than sixty percent of the national average.

British pensioners among Europe's poorest

According to Eurostat, 30 % of British pensioners are in this category compared to 33% in Latvia and Estonia, 23 % in Greece, 19% in Romania, 18 % in Bulgaria, 17 % in Germany, 10% in France and the Netherlands, 5 % in the Czech Republic. Only Cyprus has higher levels of pensioner poverty.

Recent research conducted by the charities showed that one in five people aged 60 and over are skipping meals to save money on food, while two fifths are cutting back on socialising, electricity and gas.

Pensioners on low incomes face a higher than average inflation rate and struggle to afford basic household essential items such as food and electricity, which have risen sharply in price. Rises in council tax have also hit pensioners particularly hard.

Ros Altmann, a former Downing Street adviser, said that pensioners had been hit hard by the recession and were “the silent victims of policies designed to bail out banks”.

“The financial crisis has already had and will continue to have a very negative impact on pensioners and will worsen pensioner poverty. Policy for the crisis – including bringing down interest rates – has almost entirely ignored the plight of older people, indeed aggressive interest rate cuts are little different from cutting the state pension,” said Dr Altmann.

The recently released European figures also showed that 23 per cent of British children were facing poverty, compared to a European average of 19 per cent. Among the whole UK population, 19 per cent are facing poverty, 3 per cent higher than the European average.

Varna guarantees the protection of green areas with new legislation

sea_gardenVarna has passed a new bill which will protect the environment around the urban area as the city undergoes continuous expansion. The strategic plan envisages the conservation of nature “for decades ahead”, and it was formulated by a municipal team headed by professor Ivan Nikiforov, a government press release announced on June 29.

During the ceremony, Prime Minsiter Sergei Stanishev was present and reportedly “participated in the formulation of the plan”.

“I am happy that conservation of green belts around Varna has been guaranteed by the new municipal and urban plan,” Stanishev said.

“With Varna’s constant expansion, a thoroughly new vision is required. The Government will continue to offer assistance for the protection of the environment as well as provide funds for the construction of vital new infrastructure in the city and around the port area,” Stanishev has said.

The cancer cure and our contribution

On April 22, 2009, Eurolink Investment Group, which Retirement Homes Bulgaria is a member of, made a substantial donation to the University of Alberta – Canada, Department of Medicine for the DCA Research on Cancer Treatment. We invite all of you to join us on this very important and crucial for the humanity health cause, for we believe in the sacred value of human life and the right of better and happier living, and are sure that each and every one of you shares this fundamental belief of ours completely.

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Varna will have most modern chemotherapy clinic

by Nick Iliev, The Sofia Echo


The most modern and sophisticated chemotherapy centre in Bulgaria and the Balkan peninsula for oncology treatment will be completed by the end of August in Varna. The mayor of Varna Kiril Yordanov announced the news in the presence of the representative of the Municipal Council Borislav Gotsanov and Dr Gospodin Ignatov, as quoted by Stroitelstvo Gradut.

The extension wing, which is being built adjacent to the existing main structure of hospital “Dr M. Markov”, has cost a total 2.3 million leva. The hospital is in the Varna borough of Asparuhovo. The main designer of the facility is the firm Lagis OOD. The main architects were Iskra Nikolaeva and Mario Angelov. The new facility’s construction costs will be split. 300 000 leva will come from Varna municipality, 1.5 million from bank credit and the rest from the hospital budget itself.

The new medical facility is three storeys tall and 1679 sq m in area, with a total bed capacity of 180.

Another five million leva worth of new equipment will be installed in the hospital. Additionally, for the modernisation and rehabilitation of the current equipment in use, another two million leva will be needed. The hospital is currently conducting negotiations with the Ministry of Health as the renovation works will have to be completed in line with the inauguration of the new hospital wing.