Posts Tagged ‘corruption’


Nicosia not so keen on foreigners

May 6, 2010

So the Cyprus Mail reports.

The information apparently comes from an European survey on quality of life.

Reconstructing the data from the article the question they appear to have asked, and the results of the question are as follows:

The presence of foreigners is good for Nicosia.

Strongly agree 7%
Somewhat agree 24%
Unsure 4%
Somewhat disagree 24%
Strongly disagree 41%

That makes for fairly grim reading. It is true that the people of Nicosia have a reputation for being less friendly and welcoming that those of other Cypriot towns.

The report itself does not seem to include this data, or question, in its 98 page summary.  Anyone with an hour or two to spare can find the report here.  Skimming it briefly it seems that for most of the survey results Cyprus falls pretty much in the middle of the respondents.

Except … one table stood out where Cyprus bucks the trend, is not the norm, where the perception of Cypriots vs the perception of the world differs.

This chart plots the average life satisfaction level against the Corruption Perception Index as compiled by Transparency International.  The bottom axis shows the Corruption Perception Index which ranges from 1 for the most corrupt countries to 10 for the least corrupt.  The vertical axis shows how satisfied with life people are; the higher the number, the happier the people.

The points plotted show where each country scores on each of those two elements.  Cyprus, “CY”, is ringed in red for ease of reference.

As the chart shows there is a fairly strong correlation between perceived corruption and how happy the residents are.  Lots of corruption means less happy people such as Bulgaria, “BG” near the bottom left.  Little corruption means happier people, as seen in Sweden, “SE” near the top right.

Except in Cyprus where, despite scoring a 5 on the Corruption Index people are still happy!

It is easy to see why Cyprus scored relatively highly on the Index.  Nepotism is rife, personal ties are near-essential in getting through some bureaucracy.  In a survey of Cypriots last year a majority said that, for dealings with certain Government departments (Land Registry springs to mind) they would expect to have to call on someone they knew just to get something done.  No wonder us foreigners (sorry Nicosia!) get frustrated sometimes.

However, the results of this survey suggest that although such behaviour exists Cypriots accept it and are happy in spite of it.  If there was a single word to describe the Cypriot people then pragmatic would have to be it.