There is only good news coming out of Nicosia. With the government set to announce a €1.5 billion bond issue in October, with unemployment falling and with the general level of economic activity increasing, the steady upturn in the Cyprus economy appears to be picking up momentum.
Tourist levels have shown an increase of 13.7% on 2014 figures. The international rating agencies, having upgraded Cyprus no fewer than eight times in recent years, are upgrading their assessments, and the level of property sales is also increasing. Figures rose 20% in 2014 and have increased by 17% already in 2015. Talk of reunification at a political level is further adding to the current feel-good factor. At all points the financial indicators are pointing towards a prosperous and entirely positive future.
Against that backdrop, the popularity of the Cyprus residency by investment programme is growing all the time. The residency by investment programme allows migrants to fast-track their way to a Cypriot (and hence EU) passport for an investment of €2.5 million. There are different investment avenues, including property purchase, a commitment to research and development in combination with an investment in treasury stock and direct investment in an existing Cypriot business.
Each programme has its own specific qualification criteria and professional advice is recommended for anyone contemplating any one of them. However, given the positive investment climate which Cyprus is enjoying, the already competitive advantages which the Cypriot scheme enjoys over other comparable EU schemes are being productively enhanced.
For many other people in Cyprus - and the many who see it as an economically affordable and commercially viable route to EU citizenship - Cyprus is offering plenty of reasons to be cheerful.