Cyprus Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Cyprus Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The official name of the country is the Republic of Cyprus. According to the 1960 Constitution, executive power belongs to the President of the Republic, who exercises it through the Council of Ministers appointed by him (the President is also the Prime Minister). President Nicos Anastasiades is serving his second term in office (since 2013) and is also the representative of the Greek Cypriot community on the island. Presidential elections will be held in February 2023. The post of vice president is reserved for representatives of the Turkish Cypriots, but due to the situation, it has been vacant since 1963. Elections to the House of Representatives (Parliament) are held once every 5 years. The House of Representatives has 80 deputies, while since 1964 only 56 seats belonging to Greek Cypriots have been occupied. Maronites, Armenians and Latins (religious minorities) each have their own representative in parliament in the position of observer. The last parliamentary elections in the Republic of Cyprus were held in May 2021. Based on the results of the parliamentary elections, the political map of the Republic of Cyprus has hardly changed. 7 political parties led by DISY and AKEL entered the parliament, which weakened slightly. The far-right party ELAM won almost twice as many votes compared to the previous elections and gained the most strength of all the parties. The left-wing AKEL party has been weakening for several elections in a row, the party’s presidency expressed great disappointment with the election results. The new, socially liberal DIPA party also entered parliament. A fundamental domestic political topic, which has been relevant for several decades and has a significant impact on elections, is the solution to the so-called Cyprus issue – the reunification of the island and thus of the two communities – Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Currently, the opposition communist Progressive Party of the Working People AKEL is the oldest political party on the island (1941). Despite its weakening at the time of the fall of the Eastern Bloc, it has remained a relevant force in Cypriot politics and one of the strongest communist parties in Europe. In the years 2008–2013, under the government of AKEL, the situation in the field of state finances worsened and came close to state bankruptcy. It was eventually averted with the help of a loan from the so-called Troika international creditors. Check equzhou to learn more about Cyprus political system.

Composition of the government:

Prime Minister (President of the Republic): Nicos ANASTASIADES

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Ioannis Kasoulides

Minister of Finance: Constantinos PETRIDES

Minister of the Interior: Nikos NOURIS

Defense Minister: Charalambos PETRIDES

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Zeta EMILIANIDOU

Minister of Justice and Public Order: Emily YIOLITIS

Minister of Education and Culture: Prodromos PRODROMOU

Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry: Natasa PILIDES

Minister of Health: Constantinos IOANNOU

Minister of Transport, Communications and Public Works: Yiannis KAROUSOS

Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment: Costas KADIS

press spokesman: Kyriakos KOUSIOS

The government also includes ministries that are managed by deputy ministers: Ministry of Maritime Transport: Vasilis DEMETRIADES; Ministry of Tourism: Savvas PERDIOS; Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization: Kyriacos KOKKINOS

Foreign policy of the country

Historically, Cyprus has not been significantly involved in foreign policy. In the last 20 years, it has become more and more identified with the West, both in the field of culture and in business relations. It maintains close relations with the EU states of which it is a member (the closest ally is Greece), with Great Britain, Russia, the USA, Armenia and some countries of the Middle East (except TR). Following the inauguration of the conservative cabinet of the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, the priorities of Cypriot foreign policy were adjusted. Since its inauguration, the government has tried to promote a greater orientation towards the transatlantic link and allies in Western Europe. The left-wing opposition recalls the need to maintain closer ties with Russia and countries that have traditionally expressed support for Nicosia on the Cyprus issue. The priorities of Cyprus foreign policy include the solution of the Cyprus issue, island security, attracting foreign investors and economic entities to the island, developing energy cooperation and supporting tourism. Greece remains the key foreign partner of Cyprus in all aspects of cooperation. On May 1, 2004, the whole of Cyprus joined the EU de jure (or the Republic of Cyprus as the only internationally recognized legal entity), but de facto only the southern part of the island, with the acquis communautaire being suspended on the northern part until the island will unite. Cyprus was a British colony until 1960, in 1961 it became part of the Commonwealth. A year after gaining independence, the conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots (already in the 1950s they made up about 18% of the population) flared up simultaneously. After the mutual clashes from the end of 1963, a buffer zone was established between the two nations – the so-called green line, on which international UN troops (UNFICYP) were deployed from the spring of 1964. Even after that, the differences between the Cypriot communities did not stop and other countries intervened in the dispute, mainly Greece, Turkey, Great Britain but also the United States. The former Czechoslovakia also entered the conflict significantly, when it sold weapons to the Cypriot government in 1966 and 1972, intended for police units loyal to President Makarios, who was also an archbishop. In 1974, a military coup took place in the southern (Greek) part of the island, which was supposed to lead to a union with Greece. President Makarios fled abroad via a British military base and the coup plotters failed to arrest him. Turkey responded to the coup supported by the Greek government by invading the northeastern part of the island. In the following period, 150,000 Greek Cypriots were moved from north to south and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots from south to north. A separatist state was established, which declared itself an independent republic in 1983 (the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), which has so far only been recognized by Turkey. Both parts of the island – north and south – are still separated by a 180 km long “green line” guarded by UN troops. Check recipesinthebox for Cyprus defense and foreign policy.

Population

The island of Cyprus has an area of ​​9251 km2. The population density is 132/km2. According to UN data in 2021, the entire island has a population of 1,207,359. According to data from the Cyprus Statistical Office (Cystat), 875,900 people lived in the Republic of Cyprus at the end of 2018. According to data from Cystat, 161,000 foreigners (18.1%) lived in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus in 2019. The last census took place in 2021, but the statistical results have not yet been published. According to local authorities, 374,000 people live in the occupied northern part of the island. persons (not including Turkish soldiers), of which 230 thousand are considered citizens of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and approximately 100,000 consists of foreign students. However, the ratio of Turkish Cypriots to immigrants after 1974 (mainly from Turkey) is very difficult to determine. The population of the Republic of Cyprus is made up of 48.8% men and 51, 2% by women. The age composition of the population is as follows: 0-14 years: 16%15-24: 12%25-54 years: 47%55-64 years: 12%over 65 years: 13% 67% of the population lives in cities and the rest in villages. The average annual population increase is around 0.8%. The island is divided politically, culturally and religiously. While the Greek Cypriots are Orthodox Christians, the inhabitants of the northern part of the island are Muslims who adhere to the moderate Sunni wing of the religion. Maronite and Armenian minorities also live on the island. the inhabitants of the northern part of the island are Muslims who adhere to the moderate Sunni wing of the religion. Maronite and Armenian minorities also live on the island. the inhabitants of the northern part of the island are Muslims who adhere to the moderate Sunni wing of the religion. Maronite and Armenian minorities also live on the island.