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Covid-19

Combatting the Effects of Coronavirus COVID-19 on Public Health and the Economy (especially the Florists*)

Introduction

It is a useful aid to understanding the current measures in place in Cyprus to say something of the country and its socioeconomic profile.

Cyprus is one of the smallest countries in Europe. It is an island located in the eastern Mediterranean and is the eastern most part of the EU. It can best be described as a conundrum of a country with population of 1m and a GDP of circa USD 25bn, smaller than many corporations.

The mainstays of the Cyprus economy are tourism and services.

Despite this the people of the southern sector of Cyprus remain among the most affluent in the world. According to the World Bank's Development Report, Cyprus is ranked 16th in terms of per capita income adjusted for purchasing power.

The northern sector of Cyprus does not fare so well. It has been occupied by the Turkish army since 1974 and in 1983 it declared a so called “independent republic of Northern Cyprus” which is recognized only by Turkey.

However, the relative wealth in the Southern part of Cyprus is by no means evenly spread. Additionally, Cyprus is recovering from a severe economic recession and only last year came out of austerity measures imposed by the Eurogroup/World Bank/IMF “troika” in 2013. Many of you will recall that Cyprus achieved notoriety at that time when as part of the “bail out” all bank deposits of over Euro 100.000 were subject to a “haircut” without compensation by Cyprus largest banks, which were insolvent, for the stated purpose of inter alia “rescuing the Cyprus economy”.

The coronavirus and its effects therefore potentially poses a major economic problem that risks putting the Cyprus economy back into recession.

Additionally, it is a certainty that unless contained the coronavirus outbreak will overwhelm Cyprus’ under-funded national health service which is ill-equipped to cope with anything other than a contained Coronavirus outbreak.

To read the complete article please download the PDF attached.