Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Economic crisis sets back peace in divided Cyprus

[...] these flickers of hope for reunification are at risk of being snuffed out as the island confronts what could be its worst economic crisis, making prospects for reconciliation appear dimmer than ever.

With its once-robust banking sector decimated and unemployment soaring amid harsh EU-imposed austerity, Greek Cypriots seem to have little appetite for any radical and potentially expensive change that would add to their overwhelming sense of uncertainty about their future.

The Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, have had a close-up look at the financial chaos that EU membership can bring, and may be in no hurry to join the club.

"The opening of the gates, had opened a big door for ... the Turkish Cypriots because we were in a sort of enclave" said Turkish Cypriot Hassan Cirakli, sitting with his former Greek Cypriot schoolmate and close friend, Andreas Paralikis, in the shadow of a 12th-century cathedral converted into a mosque in the northern part of Nicosia.

[...] the lack of a deal after so many failed attempts has sapped all optimism that reunification is possible, says Ahmet Sozen, chair of the political science department at Eastern Mediterranean University in the north.