Cyprus. On 25 June, Cyprus became the fifth euro country to be forced to seek assistance from the eurozone rescue fund. The large lending by the Cypriot banks to Greece caused the Cyprus budget deficit to plummet and the international credit rating agencies to lower the country’s status to bottom levels. The worst affected was Cyprus Popular Bank (CPB), the country’s second largest bank, whose losses on loans to Greece caused the government to pledge in May a capital injection of EUR 2.25 billion, about 12% of Cyprus’s total GDP. The size of the rescue package was still unclear in November, but there was talk of € 17 billion.
Cyprus took office on 1 June as EU President for the following six months. The leader of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, had already said in January that the Cypriot Presidency was a “natural end point” for the ongoing negotiations for a future reunification of the island. In April, the state-run Turkish oil company TPAO began drilling for oil and gas near the city of Famagusta on the northern part of the island, partly in the Cyprus economic zone. The Cyprus Government claimed that the drilling violated international law.
Eight people, including former Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou and former Defense Minister Costas Papacostas, were indicted in March for, among other things, the killing in connection with the fire that devastated a naval base near the city of Limassol in 2011, when 13 people were killed. Cyprus and Israel signed defense cooperation agreements in January, and both countries agreed in March with Greece to cooperate on an electricity cable from Israel to Cyprus and on to Crete.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Cyprus. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
Turkey extends test drilling outside Cyprus
Turkey announces that it will allow the Yavuz vessel to continue test drilling for oil and gas in the sea off the coast of Cyprus until 12 October. The message leads to the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades saying that the government is prepared to hold talks with Turkey to find ways to resolve the escalating conflict between the countries, but not under threat. Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis, in turn, has expressed strong concern that Turkish test drilling will continue outside Cyprus.
The United States is temporarily lifting its arms embargo on Cyprus
The United States announces that the arms embargo against Cyprus will be lifted for one year for certain types of non-lethal weapons, military equipment and services. The announcement, which may be linked to the recent escalation of tensions in the region around oil and gas deposits, was met with strong criticism from Turkey. The US arms embargo on Cyprus was introduced in 1987 in the hope that it would help unite the divided island.
According to countryaah, the population of Cyprus in 2012 was 1,160,874, ranking number 158 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.860% yearly, and the population density was 125.6477 people per km2.