Cyprus sentences to ponder

by on June 19, 2012 at 10:26 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

Now many on this tiny island nation, whose banks and government are facing economic insolvency, are hoping for financial salvation from Russia rather than Germany and the European Union.

“I would much rather be saved by Moscow,” said Elena Tsolia, 30, an attendant at the department store Debenhams, where Russian shoppers snap up bottles of Dior and Chanel perfume. “We are a small island and we don’t want to be owned by Germany.”

Here is more.

1 i found an econ degree on the ground June 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

In addition to geopolitical considerations, it isn’t trivial that Cyproits are Orthodox Christians. Memories of the Sack of Constantinople die hard, particularly when you’ve got (formerly nuclear, but in a McDonalds sort-of-way) Turkey next door, who by-the-way, has half your island based off of some wacky irredentist claims.

2 PK June 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

Better to go bust than being saved by either Germans or Russians. God bless Cyprus.

3 Ray Lopez June 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

It’s because Cyprus depends on three sources of foreign capital: tourism, money laundering from Russia and English-speaking retirees. They are talking their book so you’ll not hear them bad-mouthing their main clients.

4 VerySeriousSam June 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Cyprus should unite with Turkey.
Would solve a whole lot of problems.
The EMU gets rid of one of the countries w/o a sustainable business model.
The Turks can shovel over endless heaps of money to their new brethren, like Germany did and does for the former GDR.
Cyprus gets a life.

5 maguro June 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Turkey’s going to shovel money at the Greek Cypriots? Don’t think so. They might give them one-way ferry boat tickets to the Greek mainland, though.

6 Frank June 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm


There’s an agree to disagree attitude that holds the island together. It’s doubtful that relative stability would remain if Cyprus turned to Turkey to save itself.

7 kiwi dave June 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Turks can shovel over endless heaps of money

per IMF (2011) —
Cyprus GDP per capita: $30,571
Turkey GDP per capita: $10,522
If there’s money-shovelling, it will probably be in the other direction.

their new brethren
I presume that was a joke, right?

8 Randy McDonald June 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Turkey’s population of eighty-odd million is eighty times as large as Cyprus’. If need be, Turkey could probably pay for a year of Cyprus’ GDP out of its state budget.

That said, for very many reasons, Turkey is much less likely to be a Cypriot patron than Russia.

9 Krigl June 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Why joke? Cain and Abel were brethren…

10 geography degree June 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Not to mention that European Christians tend not to like to merge with Turkish Muslims. I really hope you weren’t serious with that idea. The whole reason why the EU doesn’t want Turkey is because they’re (relatively) dirt poor and would kill the European labor market.

Not to mention that Turkey is basically illegally occupying part of Cyprus. Makes for an interesting standoff since Greece, who is a historic protector of Cyprus, and Turkey are both in NATO. If they get in a war, I think you have a divide-by-zero deal with the Article V

11 Ranjit Suresh June 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Turkey is basically white. The Ottoman sultans were the progeny of Eastern European mothers and the ruling elite was comprised of educated white slaves. Any Europe that includes Sicily and Cyrpus might as well go ahead and include Turkey. Unless Christianity is the common denominator, in which case there is a crying need for a second Reformation to awaken Europeans to the existence of Christ.

12 Alex' June 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm

This may come as a surprise to you, but not everything is about race.

13 Marian Kechlibar June 20, 2012 at 4:33 am

Russia, Albania and Chechnya are also white, but that does not mean that their cultures are compatible with that of Western Europe.

14 Marian Kechlibar June 20, 2012 at 4:35 am

Sam, you’re not being very serious, right?

Unification of Turkey and Cyprus makes about as much sense as unification of the USA and Mexico, with possibly Guatemala and Honduras thrown into the mix for good measure.

No shared language, very different cultures, incompatible institutions and recent history of wars between the actors do not promise a viable union.

15 Mark Thorson June 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Russia could use a Mediterranean naval base, as they’re about to lose the existing one.

16 farmer June 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

the battle of lepanto is going to be undone over Club Med housing loans. what a pity

17 Joseph Ward June 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Is this a smear on Dr. Athanasios Orphanides reputation?

18 George June 20, 2012 at 1:30 am

It is easy to explain – big countries in EU push for higher direct tax rates when they bailout some country (remember how France was pushing for higher Irish corporate tax?). As Cyprus is a low tax country, they would like to avoid tax increases (despite having communist president).

19 Marian Kechlibar June 20, 2012 at 4:38 am

I’m not even sure to which degree Cypriots themselves consider their country to be part of Europe.

Geographically, it is the Near East, much closer to Syria, Lebanon and Israel than to any EU member.

Culturally, it is half Sunni Muslim, half Orthodox Christian – a very different breed of Christianity than their west cousins.

20 So Much For Subtlety June 20, 2012 at 4:09 am

Every now and then I think people ought to get what they want. Good and hard. I suggest handing Cyprus over to the Russians. Perhaps we could sell it to them and get some cash? Gas-for-olives?

Nor do I think it is anything to do with the Orthodox Church or a low tax regime. Rather it is that the Communists did well in Greece during WW2. They have been building ever since. The Greek state grew large and so produced a lot of people with an interest in the growth of state power and taxation. At the same time the sort of forces that pulled people to the right – the monarchy and the Church – have gone or waned. Hence the fact that they have a quasi-Communist party, an openly Communist party and a party of former Communists who together command close to a majority. Naturally what is necessary for this is an utter indifference to the victims of Stalinism.

21 henr June 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

If only more people thought like this we could stop that stupid business of “saving” countries, that could really only be saved by shedding their malfunctioning institutions and adopting sound ways.

Cheaper for everyone, better for everyone. Well. Not those corrupt politicians of course, who want to use German taxpayers money to get of taking responsibility, calling that behavior “european solidarity” and thus endanger the last 50 years of peace in Europe.

Owning Cyprus? What would we even want there?

22 Marian Kechlibar June 21, 2012 at 5:47 am

The British are content with having the Akrotiri and Dhekelia bases there, and they don’t give a damn about anything beyond the outer fences.

That is how successful colonialism works 😀

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