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new cyprus is it progress or not?

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Postby ex_pat » Tue May 10, 2005 9:14 pm

I live in Larnaca and my girlfriend won't walk along the promenade alone at night anymore because of the gangs of guys that hang around there. They are certainly not Cypriot, don't look like Russians or UK either. They are pests-whoever they are.
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Postby sk » Tue May 10, 2005 10:51 pm

i know that in limassol they have that problem at the promenade area by the sea,my friends told me never to go there in late hours.....but in larnaka,i thought this problem didnt exist..
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What are you all on about?

Postby tcklim » Wed May 11, 2005 7:33 am

Ok, at the realization that this post will inevitably lead to a whole lot of flaming directed at me, I cannot refrain from posting my views here....

I am a "foreigner", on the basis that I do not hold a Cypriot passport despite my having lived and grew up there since I was 3 years old, leaving only to study at University abroad. I am from a "third world" country, as such, even though I have never once stepped foot onto my "home" soil. To me, Cyprus is and will always be my home and I've seen it grow from a kid, and the progress is simply astounding. Limassol used to be a village. It cannot be compared to the city that it is today.

On this note, I am simply astounded at the blatant racism and ignorance displayed on this board. I have been on the receiving end of such racism in Cyprus before, although I have seen it get progressively more and more, and my arrival in larnaka airport is still a dreaded feature of my travels there. The airport officials simply treat any foreigner like complete s**t, and don't try to tell me they don't ..... the last time I was there they had huge groups of valid foreign workers, all holding valid pink papers literally locked up in a tiny room for 2 hours whilst they were slowly proccessed 1 by 1, in-between the officers numerous cigarette breaks and pauses to chat with colleagues. This was done purely because they were obviously from a third-world nation and not an EU one. Unfortunately, this attitude is displayed in all government offics throughout Cyprus... It is very rare to try to have any official immigration service received as a foreigner by anyone sporting anything close to resembling a smile..

But now to my main point, why can the people of Cyprus not understand the HHUUUUGGGGEEEEEEE advantage Cyprus has over other nations because of its ethnical diversity, at least in Limassol. My group of friends in High-school consisted of 6 different nationalities alone, including a Cypriot and not counting myself. In the school itself there were countless more. Now I am studying in a University in Switzerland with over 73 nationalities represented, and that is a source of pride for them. And it is a huge advantage personally for the students who are introduced to the fascinating aspects of different cultures and who learn to understand more about the world. Without cultural diversity, we become close-minded and cynical about anything outside of our own culture and that can only lead to conflict. Cyprus played a huge part in my growing up because of this very cultural diversity, and it is a huge thing. You can see it when talking with people in other countries. People that have lived in several countries or have friends from several countries are always tolerant and open-minded and less likely to be troublesome. Sadly, although this used to be the case in Limassol with the average Cypriot, it is deteriorating rapidly....

Here is the part where I most definetely will be flamed the most. Lets not forget, Cyprus owes a lot, and i mean A LOT of its success to foreign investment. Please don;t try to tell me Cyprus was all built on Cypriot money because it was most definetely not. After the war in Lebanon, Cyprus opened its borders to vast amounts of immigrants from the Middle East who set-up offshore companies. Cyprus received boatloads of cash through these bank accounts and owes a lot to them. Unfortunately, after the war ended or the investment reached its high, Cyprus booted them out without a second glance. In come the Russians and the Yugoslavian immigrants who came in droves and followed the same process, again to be rudely shown the door. Cyprus period as offshare haven is deteriorating now that they think they've found the ultimate solace in the EU. People are becoming more arrogant and more racist to outside nations and its dispicable.

Immigrants are no more trouble-makers than native Cyprios I must add, who I really doubt I have to convince you, love a good street fight. The area once dominated by the drunken base soldiers on leave is now overtaken by Cypriots trying to pick fights, and this is almost always the case in Limassol and they are getting more violent. It is rarely a foreigner that initiates these. I have been on the receiving end of many a Cypriot giving me a nice cold stare and asking me what im looking at, in order to pick a fight. Of course, this usually involves gangs of them against the single or couple of foreigners, who are doomed from the start ... and of course the corrupt police officers will not give the remotest s**t about who was to blame, it is usually the foreigner.... especially in traffic accidents. Speaking of which has anyone read the report of the black man who after a traffic accident which was blatantly not his fault, was assaulted with a line by a bystander telling him to shutup because he was black... the purputrator turned out to be a governement official, who once the police showed up told them that it was his fault and that he tried to assault her and this man is now going through hell....

Of course, the result of my ramblings will usually result in a "if you don't like it here just go home .... FOREIGNER!" ... or thats usually the case if one should offer criticism, but the truth of the matter is Cyprus is my home in my heart, not by passport, and I will never leave it behind.... even if you refuse to grant citizenship or call me names, because although its on the rise, still the majority of people in Limassol are foreigner-friendly and extremely nice people. Criticism should be taken in a constructive manner, not as an insult as it is commonly mistaken for....

I implore some people on this board to broaden their minds and simply grow the hell up. "I left my country cos of immigrants!" "Lets close the borders" bla bla bla bla bla..... England and specifically London is a much nicer place now that it was before it opened its borders. Its multicultural and diverse and offers a great experience as such. Cyprus used to be the same, although its getting worse and worse.... I know a friend from a middle-eastern country recently denied renewal of their "residence permit" despite having lived here for eons and owning property and having income received from abroad..... they must leave in 6 months. Justice? I think not...

C ya... sorry for offendin any1
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Postby michalis5354 » Wed May 11, 2005 8:06 am

Totally agree with you tcklim.

I have also come accross with many asylum seekers not only in Larnaka Limassol but in Nicosia and I never got the impression that I was under attack. In fact they all look innocent . People here have exegarated the issue a lot. There is more violence and crime from the locals than the foreigners and people that tend to discriminate against foreigners it is because they have their minds locked and are relutant to change.

I also highly appreciate how cultural diversity can bring benefits to any society. And there are many examples like in USA where immigrants have contributed the most in development. Even in sports the Black americans are always the first to collect the most gold medals!It is also sad to see people not appreciating this and can easily refer to them with bad names ignoring the huge contribution these people have. And it is even more sad when such misbehaviour is committed by the authorities.

But now to my main point, why can the people of Cyprus not understand the HHUUUUGGGGEEEEEEE advantage Cyprus has over other nations because of its ethnical diversity, at least in Limassol


Very good point here! I have also had this question but I still dont know the answer !
Last edited by michalis5354 on Wed May 11, 2005 9:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby magikthrill » Wed May 11, 2005 8:33 am

tcklim,

welcome to the forum!

before I begin I want to tell you that I completely agree with your views on the GCs (can't comment on TCs) xenophobia. I wouldnt call it racism.

Although you use the issue of foreign investment as a reason for Cypriots to "like" foreigners the same argument of foreign mingling into the island can be used against your point. Don't forget that Cyprus has been in political turmoil for quite a while and many of the GCs tend to blame foreigners for this cause. Of course this is ridiculous and no excuse, just like the fact that because foreigners put money into Cyprus that means they should appreciate all foreigners.


I totally agree with you about London. All my friends who have been to the England outside of London have told me what a horrible country it is. But when I visited London I fell in love with that city. And I realized its because of its multicultural presence. Nobody cares what your accent is like (unless they're from outside of London) and you can find any thing you want in that city without having to "conform" to anything British per say.

Nonetheless, xenophobia is very disgusting in general. Last year in Greece during our European Championship victory we went downtown to celebrate and one of my cousins' friends was a total asshole and started kicking the crap out of any minority he found. So instead of celebrating we had to spend the whole night trying to keep the dumbass out of doing anything stupid and trying to take home. That stuff is just ridiculous
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Postby Piratis » Wed May 11, 2005 8:54 am

What Tcklim said is true, but a bit one sided.

A country can not open its borders to everybody. Thats why countries exist after all, to protect their own citizens. And no, with "protect" I don't mean from physical violence, since I agree that most foreigners in Cyprus (with some exceptions) are very peaceful people.

However an uncontrolled influx of immigrants can have a negative side effect to the citizens, especially to the "middle" and "low" class. So it is easy for us "high class" people to sit here and say that there is nothing wrong with bringing in more and more immigrants, but this is not the truth.

Therefore I agree that everybody in Cyprus should be treated, especially by the state, with full respect and without any kind of discrimination. I agree that that foreigners are not the ones to create fights usually (with the exception of some British and some Greek/Russian Pontians) and we shouldn't blame them for the increased crime rate. However, I am against the "open border" theory.
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Postby devil » Wed May 11, 2005 10:47 am

Pinch of salt? You could excavate the whole of Larnaca salt lake and still not find anything to worry about. The OP is a trouble-making troll.
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follow-up

Postby tcklim » Wed May 11, 2005 11:13 am

I must say I was a little surprised, and admittedly relieved, to your responses... but I'd just like to follow up on some comments that may have been misunderstood.

I did not wish to imply that Cyprus should open its borders to all and sundry, and agree that would be a complete disaster. I appreciate Cyprus is a small country and has a need to protect its local job market, especially with the recent entry into the EU.

I also did not mean that Cypriots should love all foreigners because of their foreign investment, nor that foreigners alone are responsible for Cyprus development. Both are far from the truth. But at the same time, insults directed at foreigners asking them why they are here and shouting to them to go back home (which I have observed) is uncalled for. These people are all contributing to the economy and do not deserve to be treated this way. If any violence is erupting, I would assume it is because of racism or xenophobia as you said.

Again, the majority of Cypriots are very friendly and open. I speak mostly based on living in Limassol, which used to have a large expatriate population and I believe still retains a sizeable one. I have spent only very limited time in Nicosia. I still come to Cyprus in-between semesters at University and it is from this I do notice a gradual change in attitudes in Limassol and to my surprise, racism is becoming more not less frequent.

This in my mind causes all kinds of problems. I mean talking with my Cypriot friends and mingling you hear all kinds of abuse directed at Turkish-Cypriot simply for them being Turkish-Cypriots. Now, granted, I understand the consequences of the invasion, the thousands missing and the land that remains illegaly occupied. But to be realistic, if Cyprus really desires a solution, it is simply not possible with the prevailing attitudes I hear floating around today. We cannot hate the Turkish-Cypriots then desire them to become one with us at the same time. It makes no logical sense. If a solution was to be implemented with these attitudes in place, just think of the tension that will erupt when it happens and the two communites start living side-by-side.

Ok I strayed a bit off-topic there but just speaking out my mind.... Thanks for all your feedback! It was nice to hear.
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