I have been a part-time resident in Cyprus over the last three years, and quickly learned to appreciate Cyprus Mail as a source to learn more about the country. The letters and the lively exchange of comments to happenings, major and insignificant alike, add flavour to CM’s “official” reporting.
Two things became clear to a fresh arrival. The esteem for politicians is close to zero, owing to alleged corruption, alleged nepotism and alleged incompetence. This is reflected in the letters and comments mentioned above in no uncertain terms.
Despite that I have also seen some of the negative sides; my overall conclusion so far is that I am very happy to have made the move. The nature and the weather are all that we hoped for, we have been met very friendly where we have settled, and much of the public infrastructure work reasonably well.
As for improvements to hope for, I would like to start with the politicians. I believe that the recent crisis has been cleansing in several ways. We have a new government, and until proved otherwise, I think they deserve to be met with trust. At least I ask my fellow citizens, immigrants and Cypriots alike, to refrain from the mudslinging and defamatory characteristics, and present your discord in constructive terms.
The EU membership has also brought an agenda for Cyprus to improve the state of property trading (title deeds, taxation), bank business (money laundering, risk management), and many other educative areas where we can learn from others in the family.
Personally I should like to see the working together between us all as consumers, businesses and state authorities be lifted to a level of mutual trust for the benefit of all. The state needs tax income to provide services, and fair competition between service providers requires everyone to pay VAT. More efficient systems for the authorities to control proper business accounting are probably long overdue.
I really believe that if everyone “get their act together” and contribute to a more fair society, Cyprus will continue to rise, and that the comment columns of Cyprus Mail will gradually become less aggressive. Politics means choosing strategies and making priorities, and we cast our votes to whom we have the most faith in. And remember Winston Churchill’s observation that “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”. All the best, Cyprus!
Arnt Otto Østlie, Mandria