Alarmed by arrest of Israeli businessman

A group of prominent foreign business executives with significant interests in Cyprus have come together to draft a letter addressed to Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis. The forum of more than 100 businessmen, alarmed by recent developments, including the arrest of Simon Aykut, director of the Afik Group, expressed serious concerns about the current legal and political climate in the country.

The business leaders, together with the Mediterranean Association for Democracy and Commerce, represent various sectors and countries, and raised crucial issues in their letter, highlighting the potential negative impact on the business environment and the investment climate in Cyprus. Mr. Aykut’s arrest, based on a Greek Cypriot law that has not been enforced for more than 15 years, has raised fears of politically motivated actions that could undermine legal stability and predictability, essential to economic prosperity.

The letter highlights several key points:
Legal stability and predictability: Heavy-handed enforcement of long-pending laws threatens to erode confidence in the Cypriot legal system. Business operations and investments are based on a stable and predictable legal environment. Business leaders are urging the Cypriot government to ensure that the rule of law is respected impartially, free from political manipulation.

Unreliable land records: The forum highlights concerns regarding the use of incomplete and unreliable land records in the Republic of Cyprus. They are requesting a full review and update of these records to ensure their accuracy and reliability.

Geopolitical tensions: The ongoing geopolitical conflict in Cyprus, rooted in ethnic tensions since the 1974 Turkish invasion, adds to the complexity of current legal actions. Business leaders fear the government’s recent actions are more about applying political pressure than addressing real legal concerns.

Impact on investment: The group warns that current legal uncertainties could deter local and international investors, leading to a potential economic slowdown and job losses. A stable and transparent legal system is essential to attract and retain investment, foster economic growth and ensure the prosperity of Cyprus.

Follow this link to read the full letter:
An anonymous Cypriot businessman participating in the forum expressed the collective sentiment: “This situation is deeply worrying for anyone doing business in Cyprus. If the government manages to revive old, unenforced laws targeting individuals and businesses, it will raise a red flag for all investors. This creates an environment of unpredictability and fear.

The forum letter calls on the Cypriot government to take immediate steps to restore confidence in the rule of law, reject politically motivated actions and promote a transparent legal system. They believe that these measures are essential for Cyprus to attract and retain investment, thereby ensuring economic stability and long-term growth.

The Mediterranean Association for Democracy and Commerce