The rea­sons why Cyprus is a par­adise to live in

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - PROPERTY - Μy Antonis Loizou

I of­ten won­der whether we ap­pre­ci­ate how lucky we are to have been born and to live in Cyprus. Ex­am­in­ing what is hap­pen­ing world­wide from civil strife, wars, earth­quakes, poverty, floods etc, all over, even in rich-west­ern coun­tries, we have to thank God for pro­vid­ing us with a par­adise on earth - Cyprus.

Un­der­es­ti­mated by many of us how the good weather af­fects us psy­cho­log­i­cally. We do not fail to no­tice how peo­ple from very hot or cold coun­tries when in Cyprus, be­have in a more re­laxed and “happy” way and their ra­di­ance passes on to oth­ers.

Weather –

Coun­try­side/beaches

Short Dis­tances –

Crim­i­nal­ity –

Tol­er­ance –

Schools –

Cost of liv­ing –

Re­li­gion & Colour -

Health­care –

A rar­ity to have such good coun­try­side and clean beaches and those who visit the fash­ion­able Eu­ro­pean re­sorts have prob­lems with the wind (see Greek Aegean is­lands), dirty sea (see South of France) and dan­ger­ous “jel­ly­fish” with some at­trac­tive beaches hav­ing to fence off the bathing area with all sorts of gad­gets to pro­tect bathers from sting­ing jel­ly­fish, sharks etc.

Not to be un­der­es­ti­mated of their value. Within one hour you are just about ev­ery­where, from Troo­dos to Li­mas­sol and from the air­port to the other towns, golf cour­ses and other theme projects.

This is a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion by for­eign peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar. Cyprus (thank God) is left away be­hind by com­par­i­son to all EU coun­tries, al­though petty theft is on the in­crease (yet still well be­low the EU aver­age).

This is well known by the lo­cal peo­ple, to the ex­tent that we wish they could in­crease their com­plaints to the au­thor­i­ties – plac­ing on them some more pres­sure.

All sorts of schools in most lan­guages and at all lev­els (be it at the uni­ver­sity level stan­dards are well be­hind the ma­jor­ity of EU coun­tries).

Af­ford­able to the vast ma­jor­ity and the cost of liv­ing is go­ing down. We have de­fla­tion and in­com­ing com­pe­ti­tion (see Lidl), all for the best as well as oth­ers.

Not an is­sue at this point in time be it a ma­jor prob­lem in the more “ad­vanced” EU coun­tries. We have no ghet­tos of non-lo­cals, see re­cent ar­rivals in the old part of the towns, but not a ma­jor prob­lem so far.

The state takes care of old/poor peo­ple by pro­vid­ing free of charge house help, the monthly guar­an­teed in­come (be it EUR 600 p.m.) pen­sions are paid on time (see Greece) and state hos­pi­tals, save their re­cent mis­takes, are of a good stan­dard. For those who can af­ford pri­vate health there are ex­cel­lent pri­vate hos­pi­tals (costly) and if un­af­ford­able, the state un­der­takes to send sick peo­ple abroad. Any­one can visit state hos­pi­tals ei­ther for free or at low cost.

Child­care –

Now it is not as af­ford­able as it used to be due to the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, but free child­care in state nurs­ery schools is pro­vided.

Lodg­ing of com­plaints –

One of the few coun­tries that have an ef­fec­tive Om­buds­man and nowa­days a more ef­fec­tive Au­di­tor Gen­eral.

Fu­ture cli­mate changes –

One of the sub­jects to worry about in the fu­ture is the sub­ject re­gard­ing cli­mate change and wa­ter short­ages. Yet the de­sali­na­tion plants and the wa­ter dams, so far, seem to help us. We have to keep an eye on this – but bet­ter than the flood­ing and fires for days in other coun­tries. Well done Cyprus for hav­ing standby fire­fight­ing, he­li­copters from Rus­sia and buy­ing more and more planes for the pur­pose – yet we have still sick peo­ple who like Nero wasn’t to watch the fires (see re­cent events in Paphos).

Fam­ily Liv­ing –

Not what it used to be with close ties of fam­i­lies loos­en­ing but we are still there with fam­i­lies stay­ing to­gether.

Is it all rosy in this God-blessed coun­try and is it an at­trac­tive one for for­eign peo­ple to live here? Yes, a God­b­lessed coun­try but what about the an­gels? No, we do not have enough an­gels.

What a dis­as­ter and disappointment. It get­ting slightly bet­ter but at a very slow pace (see Malta).

A well-known phe­nom­e­non for all coun­tries but in ours it seems that now it is com­ing to the sur­face – bad, but there is hope for the fu­ture.

All the worst, can­not be avoided, we are afraid, nei­ther do we ex­pect im­prove­ment in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

Red tape –

Kick­backs –

Petty pol­i­tics –

Dis­crim­i­na­tion –

Civil

ser­vice

is

Very bad without re­sponse and with a lot of dis­crim­i­na­tion be­tween lo­cals and for­eign res­i­dents by some au­thor­i­ties.

Le­gal Sys­tem –

Prac­ti­cally in dis­or­der. De­layed jus­tice is no jus­tice they say – cor­rect and it ap­plies to Cyprus.

Ac­cept­able at top po­si­tions but

the pre­vail­ing sys­tem cou­pled bet­ter­ment dif­fi­cult.

Yes, bad like ev­ery­where, but we seem to be get­ting bet­ter not ex­pected to reach the pre-2000 eco­nomic lev­els how­ever very soon.

Nepo­tism in small coun­tries is the norm (as is in Cyprus) but not un­known in big­ger EU coun­tries.

If one is to place the pluses and mi­nuses on a bal­ance sheet, Cyprus comes top. In Italy, a friend of ours hav­ing bought an apart­ment had to pay a EUR 1,000 kick­back for the con­nec­tion of the elec­tric­ity. Af­ter two months the man on the spot to carry out the con­nec­tion asked for an­other EUR 400 so that “he will not cause him prob­lems”!! We do not have this. A friend of ours told us (a mil­lion­aire Cypriot) that Cyprus is a coun­try hav­ing some sort of a so­cial­ist sys­tem by cus­tom. He adds “I can­not show off my wealth, I have a car like any­one else, I go to the ke­bab house like any other, there are no ex­clu­sive posh clubs, it is em­bar­rass­ing to have a Rolls Royce, so I am “forced” to be­have like any other per­son of an up­per-mid­dle in­come level”.

So, in end­ing. Shall we live in Cyprus hop­ing for a bet­ter fu­ture and is Cyprus a pre­ferred coun­try to at­tract for­eign res­i­dents? In a re­cent sur­vey, global im­mi­gra­tion ex­perts ranked Cyprus in the world’s top ten among cit­i­zen­ship by in­vest­ment pro­grammes for high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Cyprus ranked fifth in terms of best re­lo­ca­tion des­ti­na­tions in the world, the only other Eu­ro­pean coun­try to be in­cluded in the top 5 is Switzer­land (Cyprus be­ing ahead of Lon­don, Madrid and Monaco).

The re­port re­ferred to Cyprus’ geo­graphic lo­ca­tion, sta­ble po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, low crime rate, good weather, favourable tax en­vi­ron­ment and highly ed­u­cated mul­ti­lin­gual work­force as just a few of the ad­van­tages that at­tract for­eign in­vestors to the is­land to live and work.

Econ­omy –

www.aloizou.com.cy [email protected]

with

the

petty

pol­i­tics make

Antonis Loizou F.R.I.C.S. is the Di­rec­tor of Antonis Loizou & As­so­ciates Ltd., Real Es­tate & Projects Devel­op­ment Man­agers

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