Here in Cyprus, we see a reasonable segment of retirement home buyers from foreign countries. Given that this is essentially a global market, let’s take a closer look at how this has unfolded in the US, given that the American real estate market is essentially at its peak right now.
For Americans approaching retirement age, finding the right destination to retire requires careful consideration. Several factors determine the most popular retirement destinations, but the six indexes most people surveyed base their answers on are: affordability of housing, retiree taxes, job market, quality of healthcare, desirability, and happiness.Retirement – the U.S. Demographic
The divide between old and young Americans continues to grow. In the decade between 2010 and 2020, the number of people over 55 grew by 27%, according to the Census Bureau’s National Demographic Analysis. Baby Boomers are the largest drivers in this divide.
A Pew Research Center report shows that there will be a dramatic rise of people over 65 by 2050, but not as fast as in Europe. Currently, Europe’s population consists of 16% of people aged 65 and older, compared to 13% in North America. However, by 2050, it will be 27% of the population in Europe and 22% of North America.
The U.S. has a healthier population growth compared to Europe, something that underpins the property market and increases investment growth.Retirement destinations
Florida continues to top the lists with popular states to retire to. The small state of Delaware may have a higher population density than other favorite retirement states like Iowa, Texas, and Ohio, but is becoming increasingly popular with retirees. This is partly due to its lower taxes, lovely beach areas, and a vibrant community of retirees.
Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Minnesota are also increasingly popular because of their affordability.
The median home price in the U.S. was $284,600 early in 2020 but increased to $295,300 a few months later. Besides the favorable mortgage rates, home prices are influenced by recessions, market conditions, and inflation. The current bidding wars for properties in desired locations are proof that properties in the popular retirement states continue to give good yields.
Plenty of states offer affordable retirement in the U.S. with good property investment returns. These include Delaware and Florida which continue to offer various investment opportunities for retirees and good investment yields.Florida is often the first choice
Cities in Florida continue to remain at the top of the list of popular retirement destinations. These include Sarasota, Fort Myers, Port St Lucie, and Naples.
Naples remains the most expensive of these Florida cities with a median home price of $326,000 and Fort Myers is the cheapest at $226,825.
Although Florida holds many of the top rankings, some experts warn people to try the state out first before committing to buying a retirement home. There are several reasons for this, but the two most important are the weather and its higher overall taxes.
Many people approaching retirement age are looking forward to soaking up the sunshine in the state. However, many don’t realize that it is intolerably hot there in the summer. Besides the heat, Florida sits at the crossroads for some of the most destructive Atlantic hurricanes. One recent example is Hurricane Irma, which struck in 2017 and caused over $50 billion in losses. Many retirees change their minds about the state after living through just one of these hurricanes.Delaware, a tiny state with a lot to offer
The small state of Delaware may have a higher population density than other favorite retirement states like Iowa, Texas, and Ohio, but lower taxes, lovely beach areas, and a vibrant community of retirees make it popular.
Delaware may be the second smallest state in the U.S., but it is strategically located on the east coast. Retirees who choose to retire in Delaware are drawn by its beautiful beaches, milder autumn months, and vibrant activities. Delaware is conveniently located near most of the major U.S. cities, and retirees are reconsidering the idea of putting too much distance between them and their families.
Delaware home prices continue to grow, and they shot up just over 13% in one year. The median home price is $303,194 up from $227,000 in 2011.
Popular areas in Delaware include Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City, Lewes, and Bethany Beach. Besides its coastal areas that compare favorably with Florida, the state also has some historical and arty towns and loads of surrounding nature for those eager to explore.
Taking a closer look at Ocean City, MD real estate reveals some of the charming homes the area has to offer. Besides being one of the most tax-friendly states, Delaware also offers entertainment, culture, beach life, and some excellent medical facilities.Final take
For those pondering where to invest for their retirement planning, the U.S. has a lot to offer.
Every pet deserves a loving and respectful home: please only consider acquiring a pet if you will be able to take care of its long-term needs. Also, consider choosing your animal companion from a shelter, where there are so many wonderful furry friends who need a forever home.
In this video, we meet Stormi, a rescued pit-bull puppy who transformed from forlorn into bright and confident, thanks to the care and love of veterinarian Jessica, who eventually adopted her.
When little Stormi was found abandoned in a park, she could barely move. But Jessica took Stormi into her home and gave her a safe space to recover, setting up a mini hospital room for the emaciated puppy in her bathroom, complete with a cosy bed and crate.
It took several days for Stormi’s tail to wag, but once she finally started showing her playful side, she quickly made up for lost time. Today, she chases her Rottweiler sister Elle around the house, and is a cherished member of her forever human family.
View the original video here.
Good Living is the Cyprus Mail’s portal of curated content from across the internet, showcasing local and global ideas, cultural highlights, and scientific and technological developments to inspire a sustainable life.
They say there is beauty in simplicity. In photography, shooting in film is sometimes humbler than shooting digital though the process is more complex. It has no filters, no auto mode. You have only one chance to get a shot right, and must patiently wait to meet it for the first time in the darkroom. It is a lengthy process. One young self-taught Cypriot photographer is discovering the intricate world of black and white film photography and presents her first solo exhibition Nereids from June 29 at Noise in Nicosia.
Loukia Hadjiyianni, 25, moved back to Cyprus a year ago after her studies in the Netherlands. Though her degree was in Neuroscience, which allowed her to learn more about the human brain and psychology in general. This interest in individuals also appears in her photography as she mainly shoots portraits of women.
At university when a friend took her portrait on an analogue Hasselblad camera she was drawn in. “He was the first person to introduce me to film photography and darkroom printing,” she explains, “and I found the process fascinating.” Since then, she began exploring film photography and various themes and it is photographing people that has been the most interesting and challenging subject for Loukia. A recent interest in femininity and the human body led to a series of photoshoots with women in their most pure form – nude.
“I want to understand what femininity means to other women, their relationship with their body and with each other. I find inspiration in the women around me.
“There is something different about a person when they are without clothes,” she says. “More vulnerable, more real. Perhaps clothes are often a carefully crafted statement of one’s perceived identity of themselves. Or the identity they wish to communicate to the world, which might not be the same with who they are when alone under the shower.”
Her exhibition, at Noise photography shop in old Nicosia between June 29 and July 15, will feature portraits of women that Loukia has been photographing this past year. A lot of it is black and white and by the sea.
In ancient Greek mythology, Nereids were goddesses of the Aegean. They were beautiful, kind and protected sailors and fishermen.
Loukia’s photographs have a story to tell about femininity and its perception and her current work as a videographer and video editor for a local marketing agency derive from her passion for using the camera as a means of storytelling.
Though still early in her fine art photography hobby-career and slightly unaware of how to make it more viable, Loukia says she would like to make more time for it. Presenting her solo exhibition is the first step.
Founder and owner of Noise, photographer Andreas Loucaides is eager to host his first exhibition with Loukia’s photographs. The unpretentiousness nudity and practice of analogue photography in the times of digitalization is what he says makes her images stand out. “I’m very excited that Loukia is having her first exhibition at Noise,” he shares, “and that she is presenting her photographic work in Cyprus for the very first time. I’m looking forward to it!”
It is not just that this 25-year-old artist is choosing to work with film during a time when mobile photography is booming that makes her work remarkable. Loukia’s process is a 360 approach to photography, witnessing the formation of an image through its many steps.
Recently she has set up her own darkroom, learning to print everything by hand to understand this important part of the process. “I would say it is as essential as taking the actual picture. Since the photos were not made in a digital format, a lot of what defines their final form is the choice of paper, chemicals and exposure time.”
“Film forces me to work much slower and to be more conscious of the work. I also find it a much more romantic approach to photography. I find the entire process much closer to life. More human.”
First solo exhibition of young photographer Loukia Hadjiyianni. Opening dates: June 29-30. Exhibition duration: until July 15. Noise Photography, Nicosia. Opening night at 7pm. Monday-Sunday 5pm-8pm
In an effort to promote agrotourism, free guided tours of the Akamas Rural Life museum in Droushia, Paphos will be offered by the region’s tourism development company for the next two months.
Locals who are engaged with traditional professions and arts will give live presentations while a licensed tour guide will provide explanations and general information in Greek and English about the museum, which will be open to the public without an entrance fee.
The tours will be held every Saturday in July and August from 9.30am to 1pm with the aim of increasing traffic at the museum. Droushia’s museum is located in the new building of the village’s community council.
The company invites both locals and tourists to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about rural life and the traditions of the area.
The initiative is part of the deputy ministry of tourism’s strategy and Paphos’ relevant bodies to promote the special features of rural areas and boost sustainable development.
Legendary musician, composer and singer Elton John has announced the final North American leg of his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, which takes place in 2022.
The new dates kick off at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on July 15th and culminates with a two-night stint at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on November 19th and 20th.
“I’m going to go out in the biggest possible way, performing at my very best, with the most spectacular production I’ve ever had,” said the star.
View the original video here.
Good Living is the Cyprus Mail’s portal of curated content from across the internet, showcasing local and global ideas, cultural highlights, and scientific and technological developments to inspire a sustainable life.
A rare tornado and strong storms struck along the Czech Republic’s southern border on Thursday to destroy parts of some towns, killing at least three people and injuring dozens more, emergency services and media said.
The tornado, reported in towns around Hodonin, along the Slovak and Austrian borders and 270 km (167 miles) southeast of Prague, the capital, may have reached windspeeds above 332 kph (206 mph), a Czech Television meteorologist said.
That would make it the strongest in the modern history of the central European nation and its first tornado since 2018.
Strong storms ripped roofs off houses and other buildings, blew out windows, overturned cars and scattered debris through the streets.
Workers of emergency services rested amid debris in the market town of Moravska Nova Ves, after having worked through the night.
A spokesperson for the South Moravia region’s ambulance service told Czech Television three people died in the storms and dozens were treated for injuries.
Czech TV reported as many as seven small towns were “massively” damaged, citing an emergency services spokesperson. An official of one municipality, Hrusky, said half of the town was practically levelled to the ground.
Search and rescue teams fanned out in the area, with neighbouring Austria and Slovakia also sending emergency units to help.
A 46-year-old man bit a police officer’s hands to avoid arrest for drug possession late on Thursday in Larnaca.
The drugs squad found the man, who was wanted for two other offences concerning traffic violations, burglary and theft, after receiving information about drug dealing in a specific area in the Larnaca district.
The suspect, who was in his parked car, locked himself inside when he saw police approaching.
When the officers managed to open one door, the 46-year-old assaulted several of them before he was arrested.
Four plastic bags containing 1.37 grammes of methamphetamine and two more with 0.11 grammes of heroine were found during a search of the car. Police also confiscated a scale, two knives and a knuckle duster from the car.
The suspect and one of the officers were initially transferred to the district’s general hospital where they received first aid and were released.
According to the doctors on duty, the officer had multiple bites on his hands and arms and bruises.
Larnaca’s drug squad continues the investigation.
President Nicos Anastasiades is set to meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at 11.30 on Friday in the Belgian capital after reiterating on Thursday his determination to work closely with him to reunify Cyprus in his intervention during the ongoing European Council in Brussels.
Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushos in a written statement said that President Nicos Anastasiades underlined his readiness to cooperate constructively with the Secretary General in efforts to reunite Cyprus, on the basis of United Nations parameters while UNSG Antonio Guterres promised to continue his efforts to create the right conditions for a meaningful dialogue on the basis of a clear mandate from the Security Council.
The UNSG is set to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar at 12.20.
A 5+1 Informal Meeting that took place in Geneva, on April 27-29, failed to find enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Rescue crews picked through tons of rubble on Thursday looking for survivors after the collapse of part of an oceanfront apartment tower overnight near Miami, where officials reported at least one person dead and nearly 100 missing.
Search teams detected sounds of banging and other noises but no voices coming from the mounds of debris hours after a large section of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, a barrier island town across Biscayne Bay from the city, crumbled to the ground, authorities said.
What caused the 40-year-old high-rise to tumble into a heap in a matter of seconds was not immediately known, though local officials said the 12-story tower was undergoing roof construction and other repairs.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters 99 people remained unaccounted for some 18 hours after the collapse, though some may not have been in the building at the time. Another 102 individuals whose whereabouts were initially unknown have since been located and “declared safe,” she said.
A fire official said earlier that 35 people were evacuated from the portion of the high-rise left standing, and response teams using trained dogs and drones in the search of survivors pulled two individuals from the rubble – one of them was dead.
“Fire and rescue are in there with their search team, with their dogs. It’s a very dangerous site right now. Very unstable,” Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said earlier in the day. “They’re in search-and-rescue mode, and they will be in that mode for a while. They are not quitting. They’re going to work through the night. They are not stopping.”
Ramirez said the numbers of known casualties and people missing were likely to fluctuate.
“I don’t want to set false expectations,” he said. “This is a very tragic situation for those families and for the community.”
Said Oliver Gilbert, vice chair of the county board of commissioners: “I just have to implore everybody, just pray.”
Sally Heyman, a Miami-Dade County commissioner, told CNN early in the day that officials knew of 51 individuals who “supposedly” live in the building, home to a mix of year-round residents and part-time “snow birds” who spend the winter months in Florida.
Officials said the complex, built in 1981, was going through a recertification process requiring repairs, with another building under construction on an adjacent site.
“There were structural issues obviously – the building did collapse,” Levine Cava told reporters. She said structural engineers were working with firefighters to shore up the part of the building left standing.
Jenny Urgelles awoke to news that her parents’ building had collapsed. She called them, but their phones went straight to voicemail, she told WSVN 7 News.
“I am holding on to hope,” she told the local Fox affiliate.
Footage from WPLG Local 10, a Miami TV station, showed a rescue team pulling a boy from piles of debris and rebar, and firefighters using ladder trucks to rescue residents trapped on balconies.
The search effort was slowed by at least one fire that burned at the site as emergency crews doused the rubble with water, local media reported.
Footage captured by a security camera nearby showed an entire side of the building crumbling in two sections, one after the other, in billowing clouds of dust at about 1:30 a.m. (0530 GMT).
“At first it sounded like a flash of lightning or thunder,” said Barry Cohen, a former Surfside vice mayor and building resident. “But then it just kept on – steadily for at least 15 to 30 seconds – it just kept on going and going and going.”
ROOF WORK AND INSPECTIONS
Cohen, evacuated from the stricken building with his wife, also said there had been construction for more than a month on the building’s roof.
The Champlain Towers South had more than 130 units, about 80 of which were occupied. It had been subject to various inspections recently due to the recertification process and the adjacent building construction, Surfside Commissioner Charles Kesl told Local 10.
“There were garage-underground issues related to that, to make sure that it was done soundly,” Kesl said. “There were some cracks from that project – minor cracks – that were just patched up. Nothing, based on my understanding, to the magnitude that would indicate that there was a structural problem that could result in something so catastrophic.”
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said construction work was being done on the roof but there was no indication it caused the collapse.
“It’s hard to imagine how this could have happened,” Burkett told reporters. “Buildings just don’t fall down.”
Burkett said the collapse left a third or more of the building – a section with balconies facing the beach – “totally pancaked.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who toured the scene Thursday afternoon, later signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Miami-Dade County to hasten access to federal disaster assistance, Levine Cava said on Twitter.
At least six Paraguayan nationals were among those unaccounted for, Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said, including the sister of Paraguay’s first lady, the sister’s husband Luis Pettengill and their three children.
Miami-Dade Police assumed control of the investigation.
The technology industry is known for offering some of the most attractive salary packages in the job market. But research has shown that not negotiating your salary can cost you thousands over the course of your career.
“I tell my graduate students that by not negotiating their job at the beginning of their career, they’re leaving anywhere between $1 million and $1.5 million on the table in lost earnings over their lifetime,” Linda Babcock, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University, told NPR.
So how does one navigate this crucial aspect of a new job?
Firstly, we need to look into how salary packages can be structured in the technology industry.
Although Cyprus is not used to jobs with complex salary structures, containing bonuses and variable clauses, they are slowly starting to be adopted. This trend has been accelerated by the relocation of several successful technology startups and mature companies on the island in recent years.
On top of a basic salary, technology companies can offer other incentives such as equity, additional benefits such as healthcare, an annual bonus, a signing bonus, which is especially applicable if you are being asked to leave your current job, and relocation benefits if you are being asked to move to Cyprus for a new role.
For example, a game designer position based in Cyprus offers medical insurance, money for a gym subscription, English lessons to help bridge the language gap, and a full relocation package.
In terms of equity, this can include shares in the company, which can be beneficial to both parties, since they not only increase overall remuneration for the employee but also incentivise them by offering a stake in the company.
“There have been many studies conducted in the past 20 years regarding how employee ownership affects the performance of a firm. The overall conclusion obtained from these studies shows that productivity of the firm increases by 4 per cent to 5 per cent on average every year when ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) are adopted,” analysts from equity management software company Eqvista say.
Workers who have been headhunted by a technology company or who are at the stage during an interview process where they discussing remuneration must be aware of all of these potential ways of being rewarded for their talent and experience and put them on the table for discussion
Another crucial aspect of the salary negotiation process is understanding how much you are worth the company interested in hiring you and using that as a compass to guide you through the negotiation.
This is tricky but the key thing is to understand the market and how it remunerates people with similar skills, knowledge and experience to your own.
While it is tempting to visit websites such as Glassdoor, a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies and reveal their salaries and job role details, more experienced recruiters advise that the figures available may be out of date or simply inaccurate as they may not take into account equity and bonuses.
“Unfortunately, the best and most up to date information is a moving target but common knowledge among HR professionals,” technology industry insiders Candor have stated.
“The easiest way for you to tap into that is through third-party recruiters,” they added.
An additional thing to consider is one of the easiest to remember but somewhat awkward to execute.
In essence, you must avoid low-balling yourself by falling into the trap of letting the company know how much you would be willing to accept.
Industry insiders advise that it is better to avoid having the salary conversation early into the interview process and revisiting it once the company has signified that they are indeed interested in hiring you.
“Every employer will ask about expected salary and every experienced professional knows not to answer,” Candor says.
“This is a standard part of the hiring dance, don’t be afraid to stand your ground,” they add.
Questions that may be useful to ask at this stage include queries on what the company’s wage range is for the role, how much is the equity (if offered to you) is worth at the moment and if it is expected to appreciate in time, and what the level of the job role is within the company.
Visa Inc (V.N) said on Thursday it had agreed a €1.8 billion ($2.2 billion) takeover of European open banking platform Tink, months after it ditched a planned acquisition of the startup’s US rival Plaid.
Founded in 2012, Sweden-based Tink enables banks and other financial firms to share and access consumer financial data more easily. It is used by more than 3,400 banks and other institutions, as well as over 250 million customers in Europe.
Visa terminated a planned $5.3 billion deal with U.S. data-sharing platform Plaid in January, following a US government lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal on antitrust grounds.
European Union rules on open banking require banks to allow access to customer data by registered third party providers to boost competition.The rollout of the rules has provided fertile ground for fintechs, such as Tink, which provide technology to help third parties and banks to access customer data.
Some financial technology experts said the Tink acquisition could face antitrust concerns, similar to the failed Plaid deal.
“Europe is a very different open banking market to the USA,” said Simon Taylor, head of ventures and co-founder at fintech consultancy 11:FS. “But Tink is one of the largest players, and many of the concerns that led to the investigation into the Plaid-Visa deal may apply here.”
The deal is part of Visa’s push to diversify revenues beyond credit card payments, where it is one of the world’s dominant players. Card companies have been facing increased pressure from regulators on fees, especially in Europe.If completed, the transaction could mark another success for Sweden’s financial technology startup sector which has created several large companies over the past few years.
Buy now pay later company Klarna was valued at $46 billion in its latest fundraising round earlier this month, while Payments startup iZettle was acquired by PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) for $2.2 billion in 2018.
“With Tink and iZettle, Sweden has now produced two of Europe’s largest ever fintech M&A exits,” said Josh Bell, general partner at Dawn Capital, a venture capital firm who backed both firms.
Workers in Cyprus have been working harder, with more hours and fewer absences, according to a recent report, but incomes are declining.
And, in spite of all that, economic sentiment is improving.
Overall, the impact of the pandemic is 5.7 per cent of GDP, according to the Cyprus Institute of Chartered Accountants.
There has been a recovery of work in a number of significant respects in Cyprus from April 2020 to January 2021, according to a report released recently by the EU Social Protection Committee last week.
But employment income in Cyprus dropped -8 per cent, the third largest loss of income in the EU, the survey “Monitoring Report on the Employment and Social Situation in the EU Following the Outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic” said.
“Income losses are highly concentrated in vulnerable sub-groups across the EU. The highest decreases in employment income are for youth – the estimated income loss is more than two times higher for young workers (16-24) than for adults workers (25-65). Women are also likely to be more affected, mainly due to a larger prevalence of female employment in the affected sectors. Workers on temporary contracts also suffered more, as their employment income decreased in all countries due to transitions to unemployment consistently more often when compared with those on permanent contracts.
Meanwhile, Cyprus can claim to have among the least amount of financial distress in the lowest income quartile, the report pointed out. Financial distress in Cyprus was “stable,” the report said, along with Estonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland and Italy.
Cyprus was among the Member States seeing the highest increases in total actual hours worked between the second and third quarters, at 24.5 per cent.
The highest increases were also observed in Greece (+33.4 per cent), Italy (+28.3 per cent), Spain (+27.8 per cent), Portugal (+27.3 per cent) and Cyprus (+24.5 per cent). However, despite these large quarter-over-quarter increases, total actual hours worked failed to return to levels observed in the third quarter of 2019.
Compared with the second quarter of 2020, all Member States surveyed experienced a drop in overall absences from work in the third quarter. The largest drops were registered in Cyprus (-21.0 percentage points), Greece -18.8 percentage points) and Slovakia (-18.6 percentage points). The highest rates of absences were observed in Sweden (16.1 per cent), France (14.4 per cent) and Austria (12.6 per cent).
Workers are also feeling better about the future, as economic sentiment has improved in June, according to the University of Cyprus Economic Research Centre.
The Economic Situation Index released by the University of Cyprus Economic Research Centre increased by 6.2 points compared with May 2021. The increase in the index came from strengthening in the services sector and improving consumer confidence.
Services are seeing an upward revision of turnover expectations for the next quarter, the report said.
In retail and manufacturing, the business climate improved slightly on expectations of increased activity in the next half year.
In construction, the business climate recorded a slight decline, after the companies revised downwards the expectations for the number of their employees in the next half year.
And the report shows that consumer expectations are improving and should continue to do so in the coming half year.
Britain will next month publish plans to allow fully vaccinated people to travel unrestricted to all countries except those with the highest Covid-19 risk, in a boost for a travel industry wrecked by the pandemic.
Airlines welcomed the move and they were further cheered by news late on Thursday that Britain will add Malta, Spain’s Balearic Islands and the Portuguese island of Madeira to its “green list” for safe travel spots from June 30.
“Thanks to our successful vaccination programme, our intention is that later in the summer UK residents who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate when travelling from amber list countries,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said.
“We’ll set out further details next month,” he tweeted.“The Department for Transport declined to say if the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers would take place in a matter of weeks or months.
“We cannot afford another missed summer,” said BA chairman and chief executive officer Sean Doyle in a statement.
“There are jobs at stake, Britons separated from family members and we cannot afford to allow the success of our vaccine programme to be wasted.”EasyJet (EZJ.L) said the reopening fell short of a safe and sustainable easing of restrictions promised by Britain’s government.
“The science shows that travel to many European countries would have very little impact on hospitalisation and this is even more the case now given that COVID cases in Europe have declined,” said EasyJet chief executive officer Johan Lundgren.
The government has come under increasing pressure to ease restrictions as the peak July and August holiday season approaches.
Pilots, cabin crew, travel agents and other workers from the travel industry held protests on Wednesday, calling on the government to open up more routes, while BA, easyJet and TUI backed a court case questioning the government’s travel rules.
Britain has one of the fastest vaccination programmes in the world but so far the government has effectively prevented travel to most countries through quarantine and testing rules, prompting the industry to warn of multiple business failures and job losses.
A new EU-funded project has been launched in Cyprus to facilitate the integration of migrants in a range of areas including participation, education, cultural and social life, urban planning, business, access to the labour market, anti-discrimination and multilingualism.
Entitled “Building structures for intercultural integration in Cyprus”, the two-year project is being implemented by the Council of Europe and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support in partnership with the Interior Ministry.
As the EU country with the highest number of arriving migrants per capita, Cyprus faces the challenge of trying to ensure the successful inclusion of non-EU nationals already here while simultaneously enabling the integration of new migrants.
The project will support the Republic in implementing its National Action Plan on the Integration of Third-Country Nationals 2020-2022, by empowering local authorities, NGOs, and migrant organisations to be part of the integration process.
The Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities programme offers conceptual, analytical and policymaking tools to address the challenges of migrant integration, in particular related to building trust, fostering community cohesion and managing diversity as a resource.
The project will build upon significant and positive changes which have resulted from the implementation of the Intercultural Cities programme in Limassol since 2010, such as the creation of an Intercultural Council and the city’s first Intercultural Strategy.
Five regional integration networks will be established based around the cities of Paralimni, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, and Paphos. These will include local authorities and officials, NGOs, public organisations and agencies (welfare, employment, education, culture, sport, safety, urbanism etc.), migrant groups and organisations, professionals and private organisations.
These networks will play a key role in implementing the project’s activities, which are:
- Conducting an overview and assessment of integration policies and community cohesion/social integration in each region
- Developing an Intercultural Strategy outlining the vision, goals, and actions of each of the regional networks and the central authorities
- Developing a methodological tool for monitoring regional integration activities and a prototype tool (Social Trust Barometer) for monitoring cohesion/social integration in regional and national communities
- Designing a multi-level coordination mechanism on integration policies for the Republic of Cyprus
Health minister, Constantinos Ioannou may be on his way out, but he has not given up his crusade to have the whole population of Cyprus vaccinated. On a visit to Famagusta general hospital on Tuesday, he repeated for the nth time “the only way to prevent a new outbreak of the pandemic is to increase the vaccinations.” Ioannou was expressing his concerns about the doubling of the positivity rate and the number of cases returning to three-digit numbers.
His main worry is that the young are not getting vaccinated. Despite the vaccination portal being open to everyone over 18, from last Friday, there were only 3,000 appointments booked by Sunday and only another 300 by Tuesday. A health ministry announcement said that by the end of last week, only 25.8 per cent of people between 18 and 21 years old and 32.9 per cent of those between 20 and 29 years old had received one jab.
These are relatively low numbers for the age groups, considering there is availability of vaccines and 65 per cent of the Cyprus population have had at least one jab. It is strange, bearing in mind the big amounts of money spent by the government on advertising campaigns aimed at persuading the people to get vaccinated. It also used social media in order to get the message across to the young, who appear not to be taking any notice.
The rise in the number of cases has caused the authorities to revert to their scaremongering tactics, with the health ministry saying that we are facing the Delta variant. The ministry was seconded by Professor Petros Karayiannis, of the scientific advisory team, who speculated that the rise in cases could be attributed to the Delta variant. The number of cases was “shocking” and should be a cause for alarm, he said. If we relaxed too much “things could get out of control,” he warned on Wednesday. Karayiannis was not the only one to try to spread fear. Former member of the scientific team Professor Leondios Kostrikkis spoke about a possible fourth wave in September, given that all variants led to surges in infections.
Meanwhile, the health ministry has changed its policy of not mentioning whether positive cases were vaccinated. On Wednesday it informed us that more than 90 per cent of covid hospitalised cases were unvaccinated. It also said that 70 per cent of those who tested positive were below the age of 40, and four fifths of them had no history of vaccination. Giving data seems a much better way of persuading people to get vaccinated than scare-mongering which seems to be the preferred method of the scientists.