The Financial Mirror has reached yet another milestone, publishing our 1000th issue that you hold in your hands today.
From our humble beginnings on March 17, 1993, this newspaper has evolved with the times, trying to keep up with technological trends and reporting on continuous and rapid developments in the economy.
We printed our first edition when Cyprus was transforming itself from an agriculture-based economy to one that provided services, initially to “offshore” companies, international banking units (IBUs) and the shipping sector.
Legislation that protected foreign investors and a competitive taxation system attracted thousands of companies, from brass-plate rep offices to fully-fledged multinationals, with this regime providing an advantage to registering in Cyprus.
However, this could now be blown to smithereens if the naïve administration is allowed to impose higher taxes on companies and wealthy resident individuals, which could push many people away from our near-bankrupt island. Just over 52% of personal insolvencies in the past 16 years and 32% of liquidations of companies were recorded during the four years of the current anti-business presidency and the pro-union communist leadership.
Talk of a one-stop-shop by all Ministers of Commerce, Industry and Tourism have not yet materialised to the expected level that would encourage more foreign investments. The promotion of Cyprus as a business hub and financial services centre, as well as a quality tourism destination has been downgraded due to budget cuts, a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction to contain public spending.
In the past 1,000 issues we have reported about the resilience of the Cypriot economy to recover from all sorts of disasters – the 1974 Turkish invasion and destruction and the ‘economic miracle’ that followed; the 1970s oil crisis and new shipping opportunities; the runaway real estate balloon that burst and the niche property projects underway; the collapse of the Soviet empire and the ensuing influx of Russians; the stock market boom and bust and the evolution of online and forex trading. All these are success stories that cannot be wiped out simply to satisfy a number of over-paid civil servants, while the incomprehensible delay in investigating the banking crisis, apportioning blame, picking up the piece and moving on has caused more harm to the “Cyprus” brand than any other natural disaster or military conflict.
The Financial Mirror will be around for many more issues and we will remain vigilant in our editorial and analytical policies, simply because there are too many idiots in public office nowadays.
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