The standard of living is much higher in the southern part of Cyprus than in the north. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of CYP and acronym for Cyprus. However, the Turkish Cypriots in the northern part of the island have a higher standard of living than the people of Turkey. This is mainly due to generous contributions from the Turkish state. Some social benefits exist for everyone in Cyprus, but the information available comes from the southern part. Thus there is the right to paid holidays and a social insurance system with, among other things, sickness benefit, old age, disability and widow’s pension, maternity leave (two months with full pay) and etc.
A referendum in the Turkish-Cypriot part of the country at the end of the year gave equal proportions of votes for and against reunification. The leader of the Republican Party, Mehmet Ali Talat, who had supported Annan’s reunion plan, called for the formation of a coalition government. In 2004, Talat reached a coalition agreement with the Democratic Party under the leadership of Serdar Denktash, son of the Turkish-Cypriot leader.
New negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots were resumed in February 2004. In April, a new parallel referendum was held in both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sections on the UN reunification plan. While the Turks voted for reunification, the plan was voted down by the Greek Cypriots. On May 1, Cyprus, along with 9 other new member states, was admitted to the EU. Ie only the Greek Cypriot part was recorded. The EU ruled on the Greeks’ rejection of reunification by providing significant financial assistance to the Turkish-Cypriot part.
In late May, the Turkish Cypriots allowed the resident Greek Cypriots to cross the green line with just their identity papers where they used to use passports. Acc. the Turkish Cypriot government is to improve the new provision between the inhabitants of each of the two parts of the country.
Ankara declared in December that Turkey will recognize Cyprus as a member of the EU. This happened before Turkey, in October 2005, even started the accession negotiations with the EU.
In April 2005, Mehmet Ali Talat was elected Turkish-Cypriot President. A month later, the Greek-Cypriot government began negotiations with the UN on the possibility of a new peace agreement between the two halves of the island.
Unlike previous agreements, in April 2006, Turkey refused to recognize Cyprus as a member of the EU and retained its troops in the Turkish-Cypriot part. The lack of recognition reflected the problems that arose in the accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey.
In July 2007, the EU confirmed that Cyprus will be included in the Euro zone on 1 January 2008. That same month, the island welcomed many thousands of Lebanese refugees fleeing Israel’s terrorist bombings and invasion of Lebanon.
Communist Dimitris Christofias won the second round of the Cyprus presidential election in February 2008 with 53.3% of the vote. He thus became the first communist head of government in the EU. While the outside world was most interested in Christofias’ communist background and education in Moscow, the Cypriots were most interested in his promises to work on resolving the North-South conflict. In March, the wall separating the Greek Cypriot part of the island from the UN-controlled buffer zone over 32 years was torn down. The wall had cut Ledra’s street in Nicosia for 32 years, symbolizing the island’s division. On April 3, Ledra Street was reopened in the presence of Greek and Turkish Cypriot officials and politicians.
Greek and Turkish Cypriots continued their negotiations in 2009 on reunification of the island.
Trafficking of young women and girls and sex slaves remains a problem in Cyprus.