Cyprus: EU presidency on a drip

Turkish Cypriots show June 27, 2012 before the European Parliament to demand an end to their isolation. One can read such signs “Do not treat us like ghosts” or “divided Cyprus chairs a united Europe, the irony.” | AFP / Georges Gobet

AT THE HELM IN FULL STORM

the small island of the eastern Mediterranean, and be “the bar” of the ship in a storm the European Economic represents a “maturity test” , the judge Cyprus Mail . Especially since its leaders are unfamiliar with the intricacies of Brussels and the country, stifled by a government deficit of 6.3% of GDP, is struggling not to sink into the maelstrom of the crisis, reports The New York Times .

Last week, Cyprus, member of the euro area since 2008, became the fifth state to seek financial assistance from the EU, notes The National . Indeed, analysts said, the island would require nearly 10 billion euros to help troubled banks and to balance its public finances. La Libre Belgique speaks of a “presidency on life support” .

Certainly, workers are hard at work to beautify the capital of Cyprus on the occasion of his presidency: the roads were rebuilt, installed flower beds, wider sidewalks. But despite this, the warning signs of recession are everywhere. Placards “for rent” accumulate on the verandas of the houses, exhibition halls are empty, and the gold shops are flocking customers looking for cash, notes The Guardian .

Rising cost of living, job insecurity, the advent of rigor: by the throat, Cypriots seem resigned. And, as indicated by the BBC, are preparing already for hangovers.

TENSIONS WITH TURKEY

There is also the thorny issue of territorial partition. This is a recurrent source of tension with Turkey, which occupies the north of the island since 1974. The UN talks aimed at facilitating the reunification were rejected by the majority of Greek Cypriots in 2004 in a referendum. Since then, negotiations have stalled. “A reunification is it still possible by the end of the year?” examines the Cyprus Mail .

Judging by the intransigence of Ankara, including Deutsche Welle echoes, this perspective is a challenge. For proof, Turkey announced it would boycott the six-month presidency of the European Union … But while pursuing its relations with the European Council, Commission and Parliament.

         

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