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Deceived housing investors protest in downtown Moscow

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MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) - About 100 people gathered in central Moscow Tuesday to protest against construction companies who allegedly defrauded them of their investments by failing to build housing.

The protestors on Slavyanskaya Square are holding banners with slogans such as "Defense Ministry! Build our apartments! People have nowhere to live!"

One man attending the demonstration, which comes some time after swindled investors were forced to leave a short-lived tent-protest outside the government building on the weekend, said he had paid for an apartment in 2004 in a residential block that was supposed to have been built in 2005.

But he said nothing of this kind had happened. "There even is no foundation there yet," he said.

Protesters said they would demand a personal meeting with the president and prime minister, and agreed to a meeting in the lower chamber of parliament after two members of United Russia, commonly known as the party of power, came to the demonstration.

The Moscow Region's government promised May 19 to settle all issues with deceived investors by June.

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