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Cyprus, My Poor Cyprus

This article was posted on one of our blogs no longer exists and we moved some of the articles to other blogs.

Posted by Cleo Shahateet at 3/21/2013 2:04 PM

Cyprus, My Poor Cyprus

Our lovely Cyprus is in extreme danger facing the dilemma of bankruptcy or losing the ability to rule the island joining TROIKA plans. On the 15th of March the Eurogroup blackmailed Cypriot president and minister of economics to accept a cut on the deposits of the island in order to give financial help to the country. This caused thousand of people to run in the ATM’s to take as much money as they can creating a mess. The goal of this plan from the TROIKA is to kick out the Russian depositors from Cyprus, destroy the island’s banking sector and as a result TROIKA to have the full control of the island which as all we know soon enough will have the control of natural gas.

But let’s remember how all started. Sure Cyprus had its own problems during the years but actually everything became very bad due to one decision of the European Union concerning Greece. Explaining this I need to refer that banks of Cyprus have bought in a big amount, government papers of Greece. When Greece had their huge problems and they asked help from Europe, TROIKA decided to cut their debt in order their debt to be able to be paid back. But this had huge reflect to Cyprus banks which had bought from before big amount of government papers which after the cut of Greece debt, they worth almost nothing. This caused enormous problems to Cyprus banks which at some point they couldn’t react and so government applied for help to Europe and TROIKA. After a long period of negotiating and delays which mostly were caused by Germans and their accusations of money laundry in Cyprus, brought the country at a point just before the bankrupt. So we come on 15th of March night time when TROIKA blackmailed Cyprus with taking their plan with cut on deposits of the island’s banks or leave the country to bankrupt. But all know in Cyprus that this solution will push all the depositors to lose their trust in the Cyprus banking sector and take all their money and put in other banks which will let in totally destroying the banking sector which is the biggest employer in Cyprus with related services. This will lead in a situation that Cyprus will totally rely on TROIKA so Cyprus loses the rule of the island and the rule of the natural gas. The president brought this plan to the parliament to vote, but the parliament taking the pulse of the proud Cypriot people, decided not to give in and to vote “NO”. Here we must take into consideration that Cyprus is not fighting only for themselves but also for other countries of Euro zone in need such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and who knows who is next. This plan about cutting money from the savings of the people in the banks or the deposits of the investors is daylight robbery. What is the difference if somebody comes inside your house to steals your money? And if it happens one time in Cyprus, for sure TROIKA will keep using it in other countries in need. Now Cyprus is trying to find something different as plan for saving the country but things are very difficult and TROIKA is even stricter as to what they want. It seems that hope is the last weapon for the current time of speaking and writing.

Let’s hope that other countries will wake up as well and stop this kind of dictator policies inside the European Union from countries like Germany and their companions. Let’s stop the Europe of markets and create the Europe of people.

Let’s cross fingers for our lovely Cyprus…

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Yeroskipou-Paphos

The first picture is  just past the Paphos Water Park and out into the countryside by the Yeroskipou coastal area.  In my opinion, when and if they resolve the Cyprus problem between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot’s, this area will be one of the areas that will be immediately filled out with big projects. It’s close proximity to Paphos town and the airport as well as the abundance of untouched land next to the sea. Much of the land is owned by Turkish Cypriots and farmed by Greek Cypriot refugee’s.

Yeroskipou countryside

Yeroskipou countryside

The second photo is inside the church in Yeroskipou at Easter time.  Nice one of the cross which everyone follows through the streets on the Friday night.

Easter cross

Easter cross

Easter in Cyprus

The carnivals are over and Lent is underway – a 40 day fasting period of no meat, poultry or dairy products. The bakeries accommodate those who fast by adding dairy-free, egg-free and meat-free pastries and cookies to their already vast array of goodies. Generally, fasting is followed more strictly in the villages of Cyprus than in the towns, but most restaurants and takeaways also add fasting dishes to their menus during this period.

As Easter draws near, an air of festivity envelops the towns and villages.  During Holy Week (the week preceding Easter Sunday) there is a flurry of church-going, shopping for new clothes and baking. The smell of the traditional Cypriot flaounes cooking, combined with the heady scent of orange blossoms in the air and the sound of singing which emanates from the churches, creates an atmosphere of expectation – a feeling that something good is just around the corner.

Easter is the most important religious holiday in the Greek Orthodox Church.  The date of Greek Orthodox Easter is based on a modified Julian calendar. In 2010 Greek Orthodox Easter will coincide with Easter in the Western Churches which use a different calendar, the Gregorian. The date this year is April 4th.

Thursday of Holy Week is when the wonderful aromas begin to waft out onto the streets as this is traditionally the day when housewives start preparing the flaounes (small loaves made of flour, eggs, cheese, mint and sometimes raisins). These are shaped into triangles, sprinkled with sesame seeds then baked in the oven. Tiropites (small cheese pies in puff pastry), paskies (small meat pies) and koulouria (biscuits made of milk, flour, spices and sugar) are also prepared. Eggs are hard boiled and dyed red in preparation for games on Sunday. Everywhere is a hive of activity.

On the Friday morning before Easter (Good Friday or “Great Friday” as it is called in Greek) families, carrying flowers, gather in the churches. The flowers are collected and used by young girls to decorate the Epitafios (Holy Sepulchre) during the service. The Epitafios is a four-post litter with a canopy in which the icon of Christ is placed.

Early Friday evening a solemn service is held in all churches where the decorated Epitafios is carried into the streets, for a short procession, then returned to the church for a continuation of the service.

On Easter Saturday two services are held in church – one in the early morning and another at 11 p.m.

Before the 11 p.m. service, which is called “The Ceremony of the Resurrection,” church bells peal out in the villages and towns of Cyprus calling everyone to come and celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Huge bonfires are lit in the churchyards and slowly people begin to gather there. Every person carries a large unlit lampada (candle) and there is a general feeling of excitement in the air.   

The church services start at 11 p.m. A few minutes before midnight the lights in the church are extinguished and the choir sings the story of the three women who arrived at Christ’s tomb only to find it empty. The lights are switched on again and the priest calls the congregation to “take from his candle the light which never dies.” The flame is passed from person to person until everyone is holding a lit candle. The ceremony then continues outside the church for approximately 30 minutes, after which the priest returns inside again to begin the special Sunday liturgy for another two and a half to three hours. 

At this point, a majority of the congregants leave to celebrate with family and friends by watching the firework displays which are held outside most churches, and to share a meal of the traditional Cypriot trachana (a creamy, savoury soup of wheat and yogurt) or magiritsa (a creamy, lemony soup).

The eggs which were hardboiled and dyed on Thursday are now used in a game where they are tapped against each other and whoever is left with an uncracked egg wins. The breaking of the eggs is symbolic of Christ breaking free from the tomb.

Easter Sunday is when the celebrations really begin. Feasts of ovelias (whole roast spiced lamb, cooked on an open charcoal fire) or souvla (large pieces of lamb or pork also cooked on an open charcoal fire), salads, vegetables, breads, cakes, biscuits, sweets, flaounes and wine are prepared. The smell of outdoor roasting permeates the island. Lamb is the traditional Easter meal as the early Christians adopted this symbol from the Jews who sacrificed lambs for their Passover celebrations.  

From Sunday lunchtime until Tuesday night, in village squares and churchyards, traditional food, games and live traditional Cypriot music are to be found. Everyone, Cypriot and non-Cypriot, is welcomed and usually greeted with an enthusiastic, Kopiaste! Christos Anesti! Or Chronia Polla!

Happy Easter!

Cyprus has finally got it!

Since I have lived in in Cyprus, I have missed  many things about the US but mainly food! And although not gourmet, one of my guilty pleasures was Taco Bell, a popular Mexican fast food chain owned by the same company as KFC and Pizza Hut. You can imagine how excited I was about the opening of Taco Bell in Limassol at My Mall.

 Mexican food is my specialty. I owned Mexican restaurants for years in Chicago and in Virginia before I moved to Cyprus and I just love the food.  Of course, this is not authentic Mexican and totally different than the Mexican places I owned myself.  It is more the cheap and cheerful variety in my opinion and very tasty. It is more expensive than in the US, but in comparison to other foods in Cyprus it is on par with the cost of living and other fast food places.

People outside the U.S. always have to mention the fact that according to the statistics the U.S. is fatter than anyone else. I have always said that once any country has McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell it will have the same problem that the U.S. has with obesity. From what I hear obesity is starting to creep up on the Cypriot population too.  The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that 2 out of 3 Cypriots will be obese by the year 2015 caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise due to excessive TV watching and video games (for the kids).  Depsite these grim facts I still enjoy Taco Bell and think others will too.  Just enjoy all these indulgences in moderation and keep up with some physical activity!   

If you have been to the the Limassol, My Mall, Taco Bell share your thoughts and opinions or give us a restuarant review!

Fantastic High Quality Villa in Anarita – Just Completed

Anarita-Paphos Villa• 139 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm, 2 story “Bright and Airy” – Only €250,000 EUR – Just Completed, Brand New!

Anarita, Paphos – This brand new, spacious three bedroom detached villa is located in the peaceful traditional village of Anarita, only 10 minutes drive from two golf courses, 5 minutes to Paphos International airport and 10 minutes to the town of Paphos. Kato Paphos and the harbour, bars and restaurants are also a pleasant 15 minute drive away.

http://www.cyprus101.com/blogs/cleo_shahateet/archive/2009/06/15/599961319b8847d7ba88d3c92add8939.aspx

Buying & Selling Property in Cyprus Without Title Deeds

Aphrodite Hills Villa

Aphrodite Hills Villa

Many home buyers in Cyprus purchase their homes without title deeds because of the system in Cyprus and the lengthy process that is involved. Many home buyers go through the process with out truly understanding it until they must sell. Most buyers think that they will not have this problem when they purchase and many believe that they will hold on to their property for many years and will have received the title deeds by then.

Then, for some reason the owner wants to sell without the deeds. What do you need to do? Here are the details of the procedure that will occur during the selling or buying process which is good to know in both scenarios. The Cypriot legal system requires that every sale of property is to go through a tax system which is either capital gain tax or income tax. The income tax is imposed for dealers and developers or individuals who may buy and sell more than 2 to 3 properties. The capital gain taxes are estimated in the region of 20% after the following deductions are made-

 

  1. Luxury VillaThe original purchase price
  2. Any costs you can prove that they were made for the structural development of the property
  3. 10.000CYP per person as personal allowances
  4. The inflation for the period you had possession of the property.

 

In addition to the above, you should know that in the absence of a separate title deed, the only way to sell is to cancel your contract and a fresh contract to be signed between the developers and the new buyers. This may create additional costs called cancellation fees. The amount to be paid depends on the developers you bought from. Additionally you will be asked to pay the cancellation contract stamp duty which is 150 CYP for properties up to 100, 000 and 2% per thousand above 100,000 CYP. Procedures concerning the sales should be handled by lawyers who are familiar with the relevant procedures and they could undertake the relevant responsibilities, both for the legal and the financial matters. Therefore, you should be prepared to pay legal fees which in our experience should be in the region of CYP1000 plus VAT approximately. The procedure to sell a property for which no individual deed exists covers on line the following actions-
 

  1. A preliminary agreement is signed between the seller (first buyer) and the new buyer (purchaser). In this preliminary agreement the parties commit to the price, the terms of payments, the delivery date and the deposit. The deposit in this case should be considered non-refundable and should be at least 10% of the purchase price, in order to create a proper commitment.
  2. The seller cancels his contract with the developers and settles any outstanding amounts including any cancellation fees.
  3. The cancellation agreement is stamped at the tax office (stamp duty) and an application is lodged with the tax office for the capital gain tax assessment.
  4. The contract of sale of the seller originally signed is withdrawn from the Lands Office.
  5. The new contract is signed between the developers and the new buyers and is lodged with the Lands Office
  6. The delivery of the keys and the payment of the balance takes place. At the same time the seller delivers copies of receipts of payments of the utilities bills.

 

The issue of title deeds is a concern for many and a system that many would like to see changed. It only makes sense to receive full ownership of any property that one purchases. In the meantime, we hope this helps.

“THE ISLAND OF LOVE!”

http://www.iheartcyprus.com is all about the love of Cyprus.
After all, the mythical “goddess of love” Aphrodite was born here.

We have a collection of information, stories and recent captions of news taking place in Cyprus. We add comments weekly and sometimes daily about what is going around town and on the local scene. There are a variety of interesting events and things to do around Cyprus and you can find them all here.

Holiday roperty along the Paphos coastline

Holiday property along the Paphos coastline

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