CYPRUS has drawn up plans to take in up to 200,000…

CYPRUS has drawn up plans to take in up to 200,000 refugees from the fighting in Syria, where the crackdown by government troops against opposition forces has intensified in recent weeks.

While the figures are a worst-case scenario, the number is equivalent to a quarter of the island’s population, a huge burden at a time of economic upheaval.

Cyprus Mail

Police or economy? Police.

Cyprus Updates reports:

According to an article in Phileleftheros newspaper almost four thousands of aliens who were illegally in Cyprus last year left on their own, while many others were deported by decree of the Ministry of Interior.
According to Immigration Department figures from the last year 669 illegal immigrants presented themselves voluntarily at airports in Cyprus and asked to return to their countries. All of them had come to the free areas though illegally occupied North and nobody knew about their presence here. The majority were mainly Syrians and Moldavian, while the rest were from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and China. Another 3,332 illegal aliens who either came to Cyprus through legal channels but their residence permits expired, or were asylum seekers, but their request was rejected and remained illegally on the island, also left voluntarily.

The phenomenon of voluntary departures large wave of illegal immigration is mainly attributed to lack of employment and increase unemployment, but also the fear that sooner or later be arrested by the Police.

I am somewhat familiar with illegal alien situation in Cyprus.  And in my personal opinion, police has not much to do with it.  Police was never effective enough to scare people off the island.  I think pretty much the only factor that is involved here is economy.  When people from poorer countries could get in here, get a job, and earn enough money in summer season to take them through winter, when jobs are less, or enough money to survive in Cyprus and support their families back home – that was a good enough reason to break the law.  After all, what’s going to happen in the worst case?  They’ll put you in jail for a few days until they figure out where you are from and arrange the deportation, and then they will send you back home.  Oh, boy, that’s scary.  Right.

In the last few years the situation in Cyprus changed quite a bit.  Tourism is down.  Businesses are closing.  Jobs are less.  And life is getting more expensive.  These are the factors that make people leave.  Not the police.

You are not welcome to Cyprus

Just a few days after I’ve posted “Welcome to Cyprus“, Cyprus News reports about the clash between the anti-racism festival goers and nationalist groups.

THE effects of last Friday’s fracas between nationalist groups and festival goers at the antiracist Rainbow Festival were still being felt across Cyprus.
With one Turkish Cypriot singer stabbed and at least 12 others – foreigners and locals alike – injured, it was commonly agreed that even this violent outcome was nowhere as bad as it could have been.

THE effects of last Friday’s fracas between nationalist groups and festival goers at the antiracist Rainbow Festival were still being felt across Cyprus.With one Turkish Cypriot singer stabbed and at least 12 others – foreigners and locals alike – injured, it was commonly agreed that even this violent outcome was nowhere as bad as it could have been.

The video, perhaps, can illustrate what happened a bit better (if you just want the action, skip to 5:35).

While I’ve seen nationalist and xenophobic Cypriots before, this is the first time I see so many of them at the same place, so organized, and so dangerous.  Actually, while I was watching this video, I had a strong feeling of deja vu.  I’ve seen this somewhere before.   Have you?  A crowd of young, aggressive guys, well organized, with drums and loudspeakers, with sticks and other weapons, throwing chairs and what not, and having no respect for police at all – sounds familiar? There is only one other group of people that I know in Cyprus that fits the description – football hooligans.

Is there really a connection between football hooligans and nationalist groups?  I don’t know.  But they do look quite similar to the outsider.  And what else worries me is the police.  It seems that at the state the police is in right now, it can’t really stand against either football hooligans or violent fascist raids.

Welcome to Cyprus

I’ve said it a few times that one of the good things about Cyprus is that there are so many people from so many different cultures living in peace here.   But I rarely actually researched how many foreigners are here and from which parts of the world they come.  I just judged by my own experiences.  Cyprus Mail runs the article which is interesting in this regard.

ALMOST ONE third of Cyprus’ population is made up of foreigners, including other EU citizens, nationals of third countries and illegals, according to statistics for 2009.

Odnoklassniki.ru – Russian classmates, but abroad?

My last post about Odnoklassniki.ru became the most popular post on this blog. It’s by far more popular than all the tips, links, and tutorials that I’ve written here, combined. It comes up pretty high in related Google search results and brings quite a bit of traffic. It also brings in some comments.

Most of the comments are from people who mistakenly assume that this blog is some sort of support forum for all the troubles they have with Odnoklassniki.ru, or, even, that this site IS in itself Odnoklassniki.ru. I am trying to limit those comments, since they don’t belong here. On the other hand though, there are some really insightful comments.

For example, Gennadiy Zaretskiy has recently posted a comment with the link to this article. Here is what caught my attention:

Foreign users constitute a significant share of the project “Odnoklassniki” audience. According to Mr. Popkov, about 20% of the traffic comes from abroad.

Wow! “20% of the traffic comes from abroad“. That seems like a lot. Odnoklassniki.ru web site is in Russian. Only Russian-speaking folks can make use of it. Also, the whole topic of the classmates is tied very much into specifically Russian users. So, does that mean that about 20% of computer literate (at least to some deree), educated (at least to some degree) young (mostly) people either live, study, or work outside of Russia?

That. Seems. Like. A. Lot.

Involuntary loss of Cyprus citizenship

Immigration blog reminds that there are a few ways to lose Cyprus citizenship involuntarily (for those who got it via naturalization):

  • Citizenship was gained under fraud or false statements.
  • Person commits acts of disloyalty to the government of Cyprus.
  • Person, within five years of being naturalized, begins to live continually abroad without registering with the Cypriot Consul.

It’s good to keep in mind, just in case…