Washington, DC.-  The Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) recently shared with key policymakers in the U.S. Congress and Administration the important, little-known information below about the economic crisis in Cyprus.

 

The Cypriot Economy

 

1.  The Republic of Cyprus has one of the world’s most resilient market-based economies, recovering quickly and fully from its few economic crises. This had been the case even before Cyprus discovered large deposits of natural gas, which it is developing in coordination with Israel.

2.  It’s clean economic based is reflected by Transparency International’s World Corruption Index that rates Cyprus comparable to the United States, among the world’s 7% best, and better than a majority of fellow EU countries.

3.  Just as the Council of Europe found Cyprus in good standing regarding anti-money laundering standards, so also the international financial watchdog, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), found Cyprus in compliance with all its recommendations (unlike other European countries including Germany).  The OECD also lists Cyprus on its “white list” — countries in compliance with proper global economic standards.

4.  Weapons bound for Iran and Hamas, stopped and confiscated by Cyprus, exploded in 2011 damaging Cyprus’ economy by 17% of its GDP.  Yet, in 2012 Cyprus’ GDP growth trailed the EU average by only half a percentage point.

5.  The 2011 Cyprus unemployment rate was under 7.9%.  This was prior to the rise from 4.5% to 7% of interest rates charged to its banks due to Cyprus banks holding Greek real estate debt equal to 170% of Cyprus GDP.

6.  In 2009 Cyprus’ GDP growth exceeded the Euro Zone average and in 2010 it outranked 12 fellow EU countries in per capita GDP.  Cyprus’ economy is so resilient it was able to cut its debt-to-GDP ratio from 70% in 2003 to 49% in 2008 and balance its budget for two consecutive years — 2007 and 2008.

7.  Cyprus’ economy fully recovered from the largest economic catastrophe to beset any western democracy in the last 40 years. Turkey invaded and confiscated (and is still holding) 38% of Cyprus’ territory in 1974, including its most economically productive sector.  This generated unemployed refugees in numbers comparable to 130 million in America.

 

US/Israel Security

 

8.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Cyprus as “strategically important,” in the most profoundly dangerous and explosive region in the world — the Eastern Mediterranean.

9.  Cypriot courts recently agreed with American hopes and paved the way for Hezbollah to be declared a terrorist organization by recently convicting a Hezbollah member of planning a terrorist act in Cyprus.

10.  Cyprus and Israel are the only countries in the Eastern Mediterranean with historically western societies and democracies.  They are also the only two that consistently, year after year, respond positively to American requests.

– Cyprus risked dangerous retaliation and dangerous storage consequences by confiscating huge amounts of munitions headed to Iran and Hamas.

– In 2006 Cyprus evacuated from Lebanon 25,000 Americans, a number comparable to America evacuating 12 million people.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Cyprus’s assistance “absolutely phenomenal.”

– Cyprus even adhered to America’s wishes by not vetoing Turkey’s 2005 beginning EU accession talks, even though Turkey was illegally occupying over one third of their country and transferring massive numbers of illegal colonists to Cyprus.

– In 2003, Cyprus allowed tens of thousands of American troops to use Cyprus for access to Iraq when the US was denied use of our base at Incirlik, Turkey.

– In 1983 Cyprus medically treated America’s injured and dying after the Beirut bombing, following the refusal of other closer nations.

11.  Cyprus and Israel’s recently discovered large natural gas deposits provide opportunities for future economic benefits from joint energy distribution.  Cyprus-Israel agreements also open the door for an energy source for Europe and other locations from two Eastern Mediterranean countries with exclusive western cultures and democracies.

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