Cyprus History

Published on September 27, 2021

The Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960 after the former colony gained independence from Britain. Since 1974, however, a de facto division of the island has existed, with the Cyprus government controlling 63% of the territory in the South, and the pseudo state, formed by the Turkish Cypriots and backed by Turkish Army Units, controlling the remaining 37% in the North.

About Cyprus

Location: Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean at the cross roads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. It covers an area of 9251 sq.km. and has a pleasant climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters.  Due to its strategic location, Cyprus has assumed an importance, out of proportion to its size and population.

Population: The population of Cyprus is about 1,207M according to the 2020 consensus.

Language: Greek, English and Turkish are the official languages. English is spoken by most of the population and is widely used in commercial and governmental sectors.

Political Structure: Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960 and its government is similar to other western democracies where human rights, political freedom and private property are safe-guarded. Cyprus has a presidential system and the President is the head of State and is elected for a five-year term. Executive power is in the hands of the Council of Ministers, the members of which are appointed by the President. The House of Representatives is the island’s legislative body and it consists of 56 elected members who serve a five-year term.

Accession to the European Union: As from 1st May 2004, Cyprus became a full member of the European Union on 1st May 2004 and is now in full conformity with “Acquis Communautaire”.

Economy and Infrastructure: The island has excellent telecommunications, two international airports and major port facilities in Limassol and Larnaca.  Cyprus is a free-enterprise economy with the government’s role being limited to regulation, supervision, planning and the provision of public utilities.  Excellent banking facilities are also available with a number of onshore banks and offshore banking units with correspondent networks.

Fiscal Advantages: Under the current tax legislation, Cyprus has one of the lowest tax regimes in Europe and its role as an international financial centre is greatly enhanced.  Cyprus clearly stands as a prestigious tax–incentive EU country and is free from suspicions usually associated with “tax havens”, which have zero tax.

Legal System: The Cyprus legal system is fundamentally based on its English Law and practice which Cyprus inherited from the UK.  English case law is closely followed and all statutes regulating business matters as procedures are based essentially on English laws. A major difference between the English and the Cyprus legal system is that, under the law, there is a written Constitution which asides that European Law is the Supreme Law of State.

Currency: Since 1st January 2008 the Republic of Cyprus, as a member of the European Monetary Union, introduced the Euro as its official currency, replacing the Cyprus Pound (£1CYP = 0.575284 EURO).

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