The Republic of Cyprus occupies the southern part of the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. The island (and capital city Nicosia) is divided with Turkey to the north. Known for beaches, it also has a rugged interior with wine regions. Coastal Paphos is famed for its archaeological sites relating to the cult of Aphrodite, including ruins of palaces, tombs and mosaic-tiled villas.
The population of Cyprus is about 1,141,166.
Cyprus became an independent Republic in 1960. The political system is modelled on Western democracies in which individual rights are respected and private enterprise is given every opportunity to develop. Under its Constitution, Cyprus has a presidential system of Government. The President is the Head of State and is elected for a five-year term of office.
The executive arm of the Government is the Council of Ministers to which the President appoints members. The Ministers are responsible for the administration of all matters falling within the domain of their ministries and for the implementation of legislation. Legislative power is in the hands of the House of Representatives, which consists of 56 elected members who hold office for a period of five years. A multi-party system operates in Cyprus and the electoral system is based on proportional representation.
Infrastructure and Economy
Cyprus is readily accessible by air and sea. The major port facilities are those of Limassol and Larnaca, situated along the south coast of the Island.
The economy of Cyprus is based on a free enterprise system. The Government’s role is limited to regulation, planning and the provision of public utilities. During the last fifteen years, the economy of Cyprus has demonstrated spectacular growth and its currency has enjoyed relative stability.
Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus but English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in commercial and government sectors.
There are no foreign exchange controls in Cyprus.