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Victims of Expropriation Meeting IOC
April 8, 2011 14:08

Due to the 2014 winter Olympic Games, Sochi is rapidly changing. New sporting facilities and infrastructure are coming together to the region. Sochi's land estimates like gold and some residents of the city feel themselves victims of expropriation.

Swiss newspaper Le Matin narrates the story of three Russians, who decided to come to Switzerland to meet with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and talk about their problems. Oleg, Yuri and Parthia could be easily assumed as tourists, but these people from the shores of the Black Sea came to Lausanne not with an aim to admire the Alps and Geneva Lake.

Three residents of Sochi were tired of their problems and struggle. They say the authorities had confiscated from them and from other people their land to build a station and the Olympic Park for the Games 2014. They've been writing letters to the International Olympic Committee but received no answer.

This lead them to decide to meet personally with the Committee. Such audacity has been warranted and they obtained an hour for the meeting with Pierre Ducrey, director of sports operations of International Olympic Committee.

However, the residents of Sochi do understand the conversation will not be a solution for all problems. "In 2009 year we met with Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the Coordination Commission of the Olympic Winter Games and Gilbert Felli, IOC Executive Director. They told us that our rights had been respected but that was not true. Our authorities had offered me a price for my land below market value. They even tried to offer me 20 thousand dollars less for my land than for the same land of my neighbor", — says Yuri, former policeman from Sochi.

According to the magazine, the cost per square meter of region's land is the most high in Russia. The new "Olimpic" law adopted by the State Duma in 2007, made it easier the process of expropriation. But our three heroes have no plans to give up and went to court. "The problem is that there is only one judge and it is already two years the case still has no push", — says Oleg, former fighter pilot.

The state consortium Olimpstroi has restricted them to get to their former land and they say they just want the IOC to help them to talk to the Government and get back thier territory. They note, Olympics is not a problem for them, they are only seeking for justice.

The International Olympic Committee says they pay attention to this issue of people evictions due to construction of Olympic facilities. It was said that the Russian Government has noticed, that all evictions are carrying out in accordance with the law. But the Committee points the existence of differences between the authorities and some Sochi residents.

Emmanuelle Moreau, press-service Committee, says that IOC has organized several meetings between representatives from both parties. It was told the meeting resulted a number of solutions. The magazine notes, that IOC's role is to facilitate dialogue and bring together the parties. It was assured that the Organizing Committee is working closely with residents and local authorities to solve all the problems properly.

However, Oleg, Yuri and Parthia do not agree with such statements and promise to come back to Lausanne if their problems are not solved.

In addition, according to Articles Base, "the process of land plot title registration in Sochi is particularly inefficient in terms of time and money. For this reason many inhabitants of Nizhne-Imeritinskaya Bay haven't yet registered their land title in a proper way, or they are still in the process of registering their land title. In this case, there is no talk of market value or even of reasonable compensation; there is social tension, which has lead to numerous protests". So, the problems extend.


Tags: Sochi 2014     

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