Protests, cutbacks and poverty continue to grip the country of Cyprus. Despite agreeing a bailout worth €10 billion, the Cypriot Government has placed limits on cash machine withdrawals and is taking between 6 and 9% in extra tax on savings accounts.
The crisis has impacts far beyond its borders. Locally, members of the Cypriot community are facing severe struggles. Many rely on funds from home, so when the banks closed for three weeks in March, locals here in Nottingham were forced to limit their spending.
Cypriot students at the University of Nottingham staged a protest in symbolisation with their friends and family back home, forming a united front against crippling measures to control the country’s economy. Around 400 study at the university.
Kristen Guthrie is a 2nd Year student at Nottingham Trent University. She relies on funds from her mother in Nicosia, Cyprus to study here in the UK. The recent financial hardship has made life extremely difficult:
“As the banks had closed I was unable to receive a bank transfer from home. People said to me ‘why don’t you have a job?’- this isn’t going to help at the moment. The unemployment back home is leading us into a cycle of decline”.
Professor Roulla Hagen works at Nottingham Business School. Of Cypriot dynasty, Roulla is extremely worried for the future of her family and property in Cyprus as the austerity measures begin:
“It’s very hard. At the moment no one’s very clear about what’s happening. It will affect the universities of Britain as back home families prioritise funding for education within their budgets, which is something they will have to reduce. Personally, I am deeply worried for the country’s heritage and future. It’s really worrying.
As the financial crisis continues, Cypriots students will continue to face added pressure to tightly manage their money over the coming months and years.
Below, you can hear Jonathan’s full radio package on the story, which was produced for Fly FM’s dedicated news show Trent Talk, Sunday’s 12 to 1pm.