Cyprus Looks To Its Past For Economic Reboot
Following the invasion, Turkey ended up with control of nearly 40 percent of the island and much of its economic potential. Greek-Cypriots were largely cut off from the world, losing the historic deep-water port of Famagusta and the international airport in Nicosia, which has since been home to peacekeeping troops from the United Nations.
The Turkish side also ended up with the bulk of the country's pre-1974 agricultural base as well as the lion's share of the burgeoning tourism industry.
And tens of thousands of refugees living in camps had to be rehoused.
The University of Cyprus has estimated that the invasion and division cost Greek Cypriot individuals and companies over 109 billion euros ($140 billion)."Our homeland has experienced worse," President Nikos Anastasiades said in a televised address in the wake of the bailout on Monday. Cyprus proved back then it could bounce back. In spite of the economic devastation wrought by the 1974 invasion, Cyprus found itself on the mend, at least economically, within a few years of the invasion as the government backed a series of emergency economic plans with international support. Between 1976 and 1997, Cyprus was growing over 6 percent a year, with tourism at the heart of the economy's rebirth. The small fishing village of Ayia Napa was transformed and became the standard bearer of the industry and purveyor of a new nightclub sound. Businesses, big and small, prevailed as many of the country's youth returned home after getting university degrees around the world, notably from Greece, Britain, and the U.S. "A lesson that came out of 1974 was that people learnt that you could lose your property, your money, but if you've got an education, you can start again and rebuild," said James Ker-Lindsay, a senior research fellow at the London School of Economics, who has written extensively on modern Cyprus.
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