Cyprus May Take In Up To 200,000 Syrian Refugees
Cyprus is ready to shelter up to 200,000 people fleeing violence-hit Syria where fighting between pro-government forces and opposition continues for the last 16 months, Cypriot state-run TV quoted on Tuesday the country’s deputy Europe minister, Andreas Mavroyiannis as saying.
“We don’t know what is going to happen in Syria, but…we have estimated that up to 200,000 people could arrive in Cyprus,” the TV channel cited Mavroyiannis.
Speaking about the potential inflow of refugees, whose estimated number is equivalent to a quarter of Cyprus’s population, the minister said that the republic would “need help for sure.”
The eurozone's third smallest economy, Cyprus is struggling with its worst economic crisis. In late June it applied for an EU bailout, citing heavy exposure to debt-stricken Greece.
The country has become the fifth state of the 17-member eurozone to seek emergency funding from Europe, joining Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
Some media have speculated that Cyprus may need up to 10 billion euros, over half the size of its 17.3-billion euro economy, to sustain its troubled finances.
Russia already provided Cyprus with 2.5 billion euros which amounts to about 10 percent of the republic’s GDP in late 2011.
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