After two turbulent years the Cyprus economy is beginning to stabilise. In March 2013 a banking collapse saw the Mediterranean Island’s economy hit rock bottom, with bank deposits over a level of €100,000 sequestrated as part of a desperate raft of measures designed to prevent the whole country sliding into economic meltdown. Things have improved since then.
Capital controls -including the restriction on money transfers out of the country - have been lifted, the banking system has been stress-tested and approved as fit for purpose by EU banking experts and the property market, which was effectively wiped out by the banking collapse, is now showing a healthy rate of growth. Additionally, tourists are once again pouring money into the Cyrpus economy. And it is not just casual tourists that the island is attracting.
For all the bad publicity it has attracted Cyprus is increasingly being seen as the destination of choice for those seeking to establish residency rights within the EU. Cyprus offers a notably streamlined package of inducements to achieve citizenship by investment - a move which brings with it the right to reside and work anywhere within the EU.
Such a mechanism, of course, only makes sense if the Cyprus economy is viable. Currently the signs are positive. Fuelled in part by an influx of capital investment from precisely those seeking citizenship by investment it appears that Cyprus is on the up. Bank deposits are increasing, the building industry is experiencing double digit growth, the international rating agencies are signalling positive growth and tourist figures are up by 13% on 2014’s figures.
For anyone considering the merits of achieving EU citizenship by investment - and different countries have their own criteria for awarding such citizenship - the steadily improving state of the Cyprus economy offers a pathway that combines a relatively low bar to entry with economic security and considerable investment opportunity.