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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Political and economic situation


1.Political, social and economic background and trends

1.4Political and economic situation

Last update: 12 June 2022


Political situation

Mr Nicos Anastasiades is the present President of the Republic of Cyprus after winning the second round of the presidential election on 4th February 2013 with a majority of 55.99%. This is the second term that Mr. Anastasiades is being elected as President of the Republic of Cyprus. The ceremony for his investiture took place at a special session of the House of Representatives on February 28, 2018. The new ministers gave the prescribed affirmation during a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace on February 13, 2018.  

Economic situation

Since the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union, in May 2004, the island's economic system has undergone significant reforms. For example, tariffs and quantitative restrictions have been eliminated for all manufactured goods and agricultural products originating in Cyprus and other EU countries. Trade and interest rates have been liberalized, while price controls and investment restrictions have been lifted. The full liberalization of the foreign direct investment regime in Cyprus has also been implemented. Another significant development was the tax reform implemented in 2002, which resulted in a shift from direct to indirect taxes.

Cyprus enjoyed strong growth in the first decade of the millennium, twice that of the euro area. However, Cyprus was increasingly faced with serious challenges in terms of unsustainable external and internal macroeconomic imbalances. The global economic recession in the second decade of 2000 and the exposure of the Cypriot banks to the Greek economy had significantly impacted the Cyprus economy; bank credit policy, poor risk management practices and insufficient supervision were also recognized as partly responsible for macroeconomic imbalances. 

Following a request by the Republic of Cyprus, on 25 June 2012, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund agreed to an Economic Assistance Programme with the Cypriot authorities, on 2 April 2013. The Programme covered the period 2013-2016 and it provided for a financial package of 10 billion.

 Cyprus has since modernized its economy. It has restructured and recapitalized its banks, which are now about half the size they were before the crisis. Cyprus has also improved financial regulation and supervision. Its fiscal deficit has shrunk, and the public debt is sustainable. And it has pushed through a long list of reforms in areas such as wage policies, the public administration, services, and has modernized its legal framework. Cyprus won back the confidence of investors as a result and was gradually able to return to the bond market. The ESM (European Stability Mechanism) disbursed €6.3 billion in loans. Cyprus successfully exited its program in March of 2016.

Gross Domestic Product  

The Cyprus economy exhibited conditions of slower economic activity since 2009. In 2014, the  Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P.) of the Republic of Cyprus was €17,567.4 mn at current prices and €15,101.1 mn at constant prices of 2014. The G.D.P. for the year 2021 was 23352.8, compared to 21617.92021 in 2020.  

The GDP growth rate in real terms during the fourth quarter of 2021 is positive and estimated at +6.4 % over the corresponding quarter of 2020. 

Employment/unemployment rate

According to the results of the Labour Force Survey: 2nd Quarter 2016, the employment rate for persons aged 20-64 was 69.8% (males 75.0%, females 65.1%) in the second quarter of 2016. In the corresponding quarter of 2015, the rate was 68.7% (males 72.8%, females 65.0%). 

The unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2016 amounted to 12.1% of the labor force (males 11.9%, females 12.3%), in comparison to 14.6% (males 14.8%, females 14.4%) in the corresponding quarter of 2015.

The unemployment rate for young persons aged 15-24 was 26.8% of the labor force of the same age group (males 25.2%, females 28.1%) in comparison to 31.7% (males 35.3%, females 28.7%) in the corresponding quarter of 2015. 

GDP expenditure on education 

According to Statistics of Education 2014/2015, public expenditure in public and private education for year 2014 stood at €1.142,2 millions, for all levels, which represents 6.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in comparison to 6.4% in 2012, 7.9% in 2011, 8.0% in 2010, 7.0% in 2005 and 5.6% in 2000.

Education attainment level of the adult population

 Data on the highest educational attainment for persons 20 years and over, in certain reference years, is shown in the following table: 


                         Highest Educational Attainment for Persons 20 Years of Age and Over

Years of Reference196019802001200520122013
Not attended/completed primary (%)2589755
Primary (%)595523211414
Secondary (%)152943474747
Tertiary (%)1825253434

Source: CYSTAT (2015), Statistics of Education 2012/2013. Printing Office of the Republic of Cyprus.