22 July 2017 Construction is back! (Or is it?)

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The index of production in construction produced by the Statistical Service (Cystat) reported a whopping 36.5% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2017. This followed double-digit growth rates for four out of the five preceding quarters. Growth is being led by the construction of buildings, where production expanded year on year in the first quarter by 43.4%. Civil engineering projects rose by a still robust but less dramatic 15%. It is now pretty clear what is behind the...

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16 Jul 2017 An idea of the deal that never was

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the greatest tragedies of the breakdown of the talks to solve the Cyprus problem in Crans-Montana last week was that we had only just found out what each party really cared about. This only really came out at the ‘last supper’, as people are now calling it, on July 6. We already knew that Greek Cypriots really cared about an end to troops and guarantees, but it was only at the dinner that it became clear (to...

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09 Jul 2017 Cyprus, Turkey and the four freedoms

Posted by on Jul 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the issues on the table at the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana these past two weeks has been the rights of Turkish citizens in Cyprus. This has typically been described as Turkey wanting the ‘four freedoms’ (freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and labour). Turkey’s specific request is that Turkish nationals should enjoy the same rights in Cyprus as Greek nationals. Are non-EU nationals an EU or national competence? Greek Cypriots have argued that giving...

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02 Jul 2017 Is Cyprus becoming more unequal?

Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every month I take a deep dive into the Cyprus economy, looking at all kinds of indicators to explain to subscribers what is going on and what might come next. Going as deep as possible into the statistics can alert you either to forthcoming problems, or better times ahead. For example, after a lot of rummaging around in bank financial statements in April 2011 (two years before the peak of the crisis), I wrote about the risks to the...

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25 Jun 2017 An investment fund for a united Cyprus

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If the talks among all parties that are due to take place in Crans-Montana from June 28 go the way of the optimists, and a settlement of the Cyprus problem is finally in sight, then the next focus for those involved will be how to ensure that the settlement passes a referendum in each community. This will involve a vast range of efforts to inform the public about the details of a settlement. As I have written before, a...

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17 Jun 2017 Is public spending back to the bad old days?

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This week the Statistical Service, Cystat, published statistics on employment in the broad public sector. The figures show that public-sector employment has hit its highest level since the Cyprus financial crisis, reaching 60,146 in the first quarter of 2017, compared with a previous peak of 61,510 in the same period of 2012. We are now fewer than 12 months away from the presidential election due in February 2018, so this begs the question of whether the government has fallen...

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10 Jun 2017 Unite Cyprus Now proves the island’s potential

Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Imagine a business that takes a day to decide on a memorable slogan and hashtag, around 10 days to design its own brand colours and typeface, two weeks to grab the attention of the international media, and just a little longer to draw a crowd of over 300 punters aged three to 73. This is not a business, of course, but the remarkable flourishing of Unite Cyprus Now, a growing band of enthusiasts at the Nicosia Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing,...

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04 Jun 2017 Attracting more investors to the Co-op bank

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This week the government announced that it was going to return 25% of the shares of the Cooperative Central Bank (the co-op) to members. The co-op ended up almost exclusively in state hands as a by-product of the financial crisis in 2013. As part of the deal, and as I understand it, to comply with the EU state aid rules, the government promised to privatise the bank within a set number of years. I do not know how the...

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27 May 2017 Is 3.3% Cyprus growth sustainable?

Posted by on May 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Real GDP growth in Cyprus grew on a seasonally adjusted basis by 3.3% year on year in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest ‘flash’ estimate from the Statistical Service, Cystat. The last time Cyprus enjoyed year-on-year growth rates this high was the third quarter of 2008, when real GDP grew by 4% (according to the most recently revised Cystat data). This was just before the economy fell into its first recession in over 30 years and...

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21 May 2017 What to expect from TC bank stress tests

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Last year the EU set aside €3 million to conduct a stress test on Turkish Cypriot banks. There are currently three stories doing the rounds as to why it has not happened yet. The Greek Cypriots seem to be blaming the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Akinci seems to be blaming the Turkish Cypriot coalition led by Huseyin Ozgrugun and Serdar Denktash (over which he has no control), while Denktash seems to be blaming the Greek Cypriots for dragging...

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