Cyprus Latest News Dec07

Catch up with the headlines on the Cyprus latest news Dec 07

The Euro is coming!

Cyprus adopts the Euro on January 1st 2008. From that date, the currency in Cyprus becomes the euro and we will all have to get used to prices which sound higher (1 Cyprus pound = 1.71 euros).

At the beginning of December, free calculators appeared in mail boxes to help consumers check the new euro prices against the Cypriot pound and leaflets showing the various denominations of coins and notes were given out to help us recognise the new currency.

Businesses have been showing prices in both pounds and euros for many months so hopefully the currency change in Cyprus will not come as too much of a shock.

You will able to pay in both currencies during January (although all change will be given in euros) but from February, the only legal tender is the euro.

You can find out more about the new Cyprus money here.

VAT on food and medicines on hold

The introduction of VAT on pharmaceuticals, food and restaurant services has been delayed until 2010. After lengthy negotiations, the government managed to obtain an extention on introducing VAT so the zero rate of VAT on medicines and food will remain in place for 2 more years.

This is good news as consumers and businesses had been worried about confusion over introducing both VAT on food and the euro currency at the same time.

We should therefore find it much easier to spot any price "hikes" due to introducing the euro as we won't have to worry about whether our milk has had a VAT increase or not.

Rain at last!

On December 2nd, in an unprecedented move, the church prayed for rain across the island to alieviate the current drought problem. It seems as if their prayers have been answered.

In the Polis area, it has rained almost every day for the past two weeks and the streams and rivers are now flowing again.

December normally has 10-11 days rain on average but not for the past couple of years. So to have 14 days of rain by mid-way through the month is welcome news indeed.

In the Troodos area, it has even been snowing, as you can see from this picture taken on the Atalante trail:

Snow in Cyprus

Whilst the island needs the rain to continue falling for the next 3 months to fill up our reservoirs, the December rain is a welcome sight...unless you happen to be on holiday and seeking the sunshine of course.

Heating Bills set to fall

The tax on heating fuel has been reduced from December to March from 7.3 cents/litre to only 1.2 cents/litre. This is the second drop in fuel tax in 3 months and comes after the finance minister said no further cuts in heating fuel taxes would be made after the last one!

The new tax cuts are obviously part of pre election manouevres with only 70 days to go before the election.

Our view? We're not complaining - any reduction in the cost of fuel which has rocketed over the past few years is very welcome!

That's all from our Cyprus Latest News Dec07.

See you next month


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