Officials are doing
everything they can to prevent capital from fleeing Cyprus after the country’s banking sector melted down.George Iordanou, a Cypriot PhD Candidate at the University of Warwick whose bank protest photos we ran earlier this week, says the country already has a much larger problem on its hands: people themselves are already planning to leave.
He told us via email that two of the most popular private schools are already struggling to fill spots, though it was not immediately clear when the schools, Grammar and Pascal, began accepting applications.
In any event, he writes, brain drain seems imminent:
Many people are planning to leave the country. I live in the UK and I have gotten various calls from people asking for my help – whether it is easy to get a job, a house and so on. My response was that they shouldn’t come to the UK without a job since the cost of living is substantial and their chances of getting a job are not very favourable.
Those who have degrees from UK universities seem to be more inclined to leave, although this is a totally empirical observation. Australia is a very popular destination. For some reason everyone talks about Australia. Not about specifics – e.g. work visas and so on – rather it being an attractive option.
He also says a top advertising firm in Nicosia has just let go half its workers. He declined to name the firm to protect a colleague’s identity.
The good news, he says, is that daily life has actually been rather normal, at least for now. There’s been no panic buying, though he adds that may be because cash withdrawals have been restricted.
But everyone remains worried:
People seem not to have understood what is to follow. We are all stressed and anxious and we have a theoretical idea of what is coming (poverty and sharp decline in our standard of living) but these remain abstract concepts. I guess reality is going to hit soon.
Thursday is going to be scary.
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