Sunday, 21 September 2014

Coming or going?

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that either people are leaving Cyprus in droves or people are moving to Cyprus in droves. What seems apparent is that Cyprus is not for everybody (thank goodness as this island would be very full) and that people leave to return "home" for many reasons. Missing children and grandchildren, advanced healthcare requirements and the death of their partner are all reasons I have seen given.

Reasons to move to Cyprus seem much more complex, and go far beyond wanting to retire to the sun. However I see posts on all of the expat forums which suggest that some, younger people view a move to Cyprus as an escape ... from what, I am not sure. Simple research will show that jobs are incredibly hard to come by, unless people possess a skill in short supply here. A command of spoken and written Greek is often essential, and more and more advertisements seem to be looking for Russian language skills as well. I have lost count of the number of people who enquire about employment and their tag line seems to be that "they can turn their hand to anything." Unfortunately there are only a limited number of opportunities for pool cleaners, odd-job men, "builders" and the like.

What is apparent is that for those not retired and in receipt of a UK State Pension (and thus access to healthcare here), and probably other index-linked pension income, it is very difficult to come over and prosper. The only recent arrivals who seem to be able to buck this trend are those that use the Internet and can therefore work from any country. One of our friends recently said that he would prefer to be poor in Cyprus than poor, wet and cold in the UK. Wall to wall sunshine (a myth) is attractive to many but does not pay the bills and put food on the table. And those who have school-age children have all sorts of other costs if they want an English curriculum education. Many people with young children plan to put them in Cypriot schools, believing that their children will become multi-lingual (and this will probably be true) but don't factor in the necessity they, the parents, having to be competent in reading, writing and speaking Greek in order to support their children at school. A conundrum if ever there was one.

My ebook will address many, if not all, of these intangibles and - I hope - ease the path of those who do move here, and also give a realistic picture of life here who might only just be considering moving. Get it right and life can be paradise, but get it wrong and you might be making a very expensive mistake. Availability will, all other things being equal, be this side of Christmas. What a present for someone ...

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