Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean at the cross-roads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. It covers an area of 9251 sq. km. It has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters.
The population of Cyprus is about 800.000 with Greek - Cypriots representing approximately 78%, Turkish - Cypriots 18% and the remaining 4% representing other minorities.
Greek, Turkish and English are the official languages. English is spoken by most of the population and is widely used in commercial and government sectors.
Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960. The structure of government is similar to other western democracies where human rights, political freedom and private property are safeguarded.
Cyprus has a presidential system of government. The President is the Head of State and is elected for a five-year term. Executive power is in the hands of the Council of Ministers, the members of which are appointed by the President. The House of Representatives is the Island's legislative body and it consists of 56 elected members who serve for a five-year term. The legal system is based on English Law. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Council of Europe.
Accession to the European Union
Cyprus became a full member of the European Union on 1st May 2004 and assumed the presidency of the Union for the six months from 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2012.
Economy and Infrastructure
The island has excellent telecommunications, air and port connections. There are two international airports in Larnaca and Paphos whereas the major port facilities are those of Limassol and Larnaca.
Cyprus is a free-enterprise economy with the government's role being limited to regulation, supervision, planning and the provision of public utilities.
Excellent banking facilities are also available with a number of onshore banks, offshore banking units (OBU's) and specialised financial institutions operating on the island. International correspondent networks are maintained by onshore and offshore banks.