Cyprus

Small island, big crisis

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At the time of writing it is still unclear whether Cyprus's banks will finally re-open. What has taken place on this small island state seems part of a by now familiar pattern of financial speculation, real estate boom and resulting collapse of a banking sector - one that had ballooned to around eight times the size of the economy it was attached to.

But two significant developments are important to note. Firstly, the decision by the Troika of the European Union, European Central Bank and the IMF to insist that bank depositors make a hefty contribution towards the cost of a bailout of the Cypriot economy is unprecedented.

Cyprus: Beyond the Boundary

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Why did Greek Cypriots reject the UN plan to reunite the island? Phaedon Vassiliades of Workers' Democracy looks beyond the accusation of nationalism.

Last April two separate referendums were held in Cyprus, in the Turkish North and in the Greek South of the island, over the plan put forward by UN general secretary Kofi Annan for the settlement of the Cyprus issue. The Annan Plan (AP) was presented as a unique 'balanced plan' for reunification, bringing peace and prosperity in the island.

The outcome was that 65 percent of Turkish Cypriots voted yes while 76 percent of Greek Cypriots voted no, and the plan was rejected.

Cyprus: Political Stalemate

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Political turmoil was the outcome of elections in the Turkish northern part of Cyprus last month.

The general election produced a stalemate, with opposition and pro-government parties each ending up with 25 seats in the 50-seat parliament. The government of Rauf Denktash hopes to form a new administration or call further elections next month.

Denktash is a hardline nationalist who came to power after the Turkish army invaded Cyprus in 1974, resulting in the island being partitioned into a Greek-dominated south and Turkish-dominated north.

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