The standard of living is significantly
higher in Greek Cypriot southern Cyprus than in the
Turkish Cypriot northern part. Turkey's support to
Northern Cyprus plays an important role in the living
conditions of Turkish Cypriots.
Health care is well developed in both the north and
the south, but it is more effective in the south where
the medical density is also higher.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Cyprus, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Social insurance systems exist in both the Greek
Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parts. Among Greek Cypriots,
the system includes almost all formal employees, who are
entitled to, for example, sickness benefit, old-age and
invalidity pension, parental leave, paid vacation and
unemployment and work-related compensation. The costs
are shared between employers, employees and the state.
Like many countries in Western Europe, Cyprus has
begun to feel a growing proportion of older people in
the population. This means rising social costs for the
state, and in the context of the economic crisis in
southern Cyprus in the 2010s, the EU and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded cuts in state
spending in exchange for emergency loans (see also
Among the Turkish Cypriots in the north, there has
been widespread dissatisfaction with the many immigrants
who came from Turkey in the years following the Turkish
invasion in 1974. Through immigration from Turkey, the
native Turkish Cypriots became a minority in northern
Cyprus. A large proportion of the immigrants were poor
illiterates from Eastern Turkey, whose language and
culture differed from those of the Turkish Cypriots.
The previously strict abortion law was mitigated in
March 2018 when abortion during the first twelve weeks
of pregnancy was decriminalized. In cases where the
woman becomes pregnant through rape or incest, a limit
of 19 weeks applies. Previously, abortion was only
allowed if two independent doctors were able to
establish that the woman could suffer physical or mental
harm from the pregnancy.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
2 per 1000 births (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
100.0 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
99.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.8 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
1 634 US dollars (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
18 percent (2018)
IMF payout is withheld
The IMF withholds a payment of € 86 million after the Cypriot Parliament has
postponed a planned new law on the banks' ability to recover overdue debts.
The Supreme Court rejects the new law on overdue debts
HD cancels the law passed by Parliament in September, which would mitigate
the consequences of the banks' recovery of overdue debts. According to the
court, the law contravenes the country's constitution. The HD decision is
believed to pave the way for continued payments of financial support from the
EU, the ECB and the IMF.
Former Governor of the Central Bank receives a prison sentence
Former Governor of the Central Bank Christodoulos Christodoulo is sentenced
to five months in prison for false declaration. He has in arrears paid the right
tax but is sentenced to be a cautionary example to the public.
Dispute with Turkey on the search for oil
The government in the south accuses Turkey of "provocative and illegal"
behavior, after a Turkish exploration cruise entered a sea area that Cyprus
believes belongs to the country's economic zone. An Italian-South Korean company
has been licensed to look for oil and gas there. Turkey does not recognize
Cyprus's right to the area.
Southern Cyprus interrupts peace talks
The Greek Cypriot side claims to have interrupted the ongoing peace talks
with the Turkish Cypriots. The reason is that the Turkish government is said to
be planning to launch seismic surveys in the sea south of the island in an area
where the Greek Cypriot government has already issued gas drilling licenses. The
Greek Cypriots regard the area as their exclusive economic zone.
Dispute regarding law on overdue debts
Parliament adopts a law that will facilitate banks to recover overdue debts,
for example by seizing properties that have been pledged as collateral for
loans; The law has been a condition for Cyprus to receive the next payment on
the international aid package. However, a majority of the members are pushing
for the law not to enter into force until the government has proposed a separate
law to protect weak groups from being deprived of their housing. This addition
means that the EU does not provisionally accept the new law and that the next
payment is uncertain.
Disy will be the biggest in the EU elections
In the Cypriot election to the European Parliament, the Democratic Assembly
(Disy) gets 38 percent of the vote, giving the party 2 of 6 seats. Akel is the
second largest with 27 percent, which also gives 2 mandates. Diko wins 11
percent of the vote and takes home one mandate, while the Social Democrats
receive the sixth mandate by getting 8 percent. The turnout is 44 percent.
Kvinna becomes the new head of the UN force
Norwegian Major General Kristin Lund is named head of the UN force Unficyp.
She will take office in August, becoming the first female commander of a UN
Turkey is required for damages for the 1974 invasion
The European Court of Human Rights convicts Turkey to pay € 90 million in
damages for the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The court says that thousands of
Greek Cypriots had their lives adversely affected by the invasion. One third of
the sum will be divided by the relatives of Greek Cypriots who disappeared
during the fighting. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says the
government does not consider itself bound by the ruling and does not intend to
pay. Assessors fear that the court decision may interfere with the resumed peace
contacts (see February 2014).
The cash withdrawal limit is abolished
The government eliminates the rule that each person may withdraw a maximum of
EUR 300 per day in cash from their bank accounts. The restriction was introduced
to prevent a bank collapse in connection with the crisis negotiations on
international aid loans in 2013.
The Chief of Police is dismissed
The National Police Chief gets fired with immediate effect. The reason is
that the police force failed to prevent Greek Cypriot right-wing extremists from
disrupting a meeting in which former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat,
among others, would have participated. The president says this was just one in
the line of failed police action.
The governor leaves
Central Bank Governor Panikos Dimitriadis is leaving unexpectedly. He has
long been reported to have had difficulties cooperating with the central bank's
board and has been criticized by the government for its way of handling the
international emergency loan to Cyprus. New central bank governor becomes
Christalla Giorkadzi. As head of the National Audit Office, she has become known
as a sharp critic of corruption and waste with public funds.
A plan for privatization is approved
The new proposal is said to improve the conditions for employees in the
companies to be sold. Cyprus is now expected to receive a support package of EUR
No to a number of privatizations
Parliament votes on the government's plan for the privatization of
state-owned companies, including ports, telecommunications companies and
electricity producers; Privatization has been seen as a prerequisite for
continued international support for the restoration of the country's economy.
Diko jumps off the government
The center-right party Diko leaves the government in protest against the
peace striker against the Turkish Cypriots. Party leader Nikos Papadopoulos
accuses President Anastasiadis of having already made great concessions.
Ministers from Diko are responsible for defense, energy, education and health
The peace process is resumed formally
At a meeting between President Anastasiadis and Turkish Cypriot leader
Eroğlu, they agree to "seek as soon as possible" a solution to the island's
crisis. The negotiating delegations of both sides shall formulate proposals for
concrete measures. Crunch issues include the distribution of power between
Greeks and Turks, land ownership and financial compensation to the thousands of
people who lost their homes.