UK expats on Cyprus angry at fake news tabloid reports

Published:  17 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: France, Visas, USA, UK, Cyprus, England
British expat residents on Cyprus are furious over UK tabloid reports of panicking tourists fleeing in fear of Russian retaliatory attacks following the Syria missile bombardment.

Monday’s report in the Daily Star is being condemned by expat residents as scaremongering and irresponsible, with one expat assuring local media reporters there’s no reason to panic as the report is total and utter nonsense. No-one, he added, should leave in a hurry, and there’s no need to cancel pre-booked holidays on the island as no alert has been issued and daily life is going on as normal.

It seems the tabloid report was spurred by publicity about the use of jet aircraft from Britain’s military base at Akrotiri during the joint USA/UK/France air strike on Syria’s chemical weapons plants and storage facilities. The Cypriot government was not made aware of the strike until it was over, according to a government spokesperson, who said PM Theresa May had called the Cypriot president in order to brief him on the attack and its results as well as reassuring him Cyprus was not under any threat of retaliation. He stated the use of the base was limited to four aircraft.

Cathi Delaney, a British expat who’s also a village counsellor in Tala, also did her best to allay any fears of an attack by the Russian military, saying residents don’t need to worry as the Cypriot government has one foot on the British military bases and the other in Russia, thus making repercussions very unlikely. Another reason might well be that a not inconsiderable number of Russian oligarchs have recently purchased high-end properties on the island as a result of Cyprus’s Golden Visa scheme.

Karen Sampson, a long-term resident in Paphos along with her family, is incredulous about the tabloid press’s use of scare stories, saying the reports as well as a number of social media posts are fake news and are alarming people unnecessarily. John Yates, a British retiree who’s lived on the island since 2005, believes UK holidaymakers are more at risk of violence at home than in Cyprus. He adds it’s a safe haven in which to live, work and visit, with no terrorist attacks or gang warfare.
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