Cyprus. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Greek Cypriots leader Glafkos Klerides and
Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktash negotiated on a number of
occasions during the summer and autumn through a mediator on
the future of the shared island. UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan reported on November 9 that the parties had left the
procedural issues behind and discussed crucial issues.
A rapprochement between the island's two groups of
Turkish Cypriots, who control northern Cyprus, and the Greek
Cypriots, who control the southern part of the island, could
be seen in April in connection with an appeal for bone
marrow for two sick children, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish
Cypriot. The response from both Greek and Turkish Cypriots
was overwhelming when it came to both children.
Denktash won the presidential election in the
Turkish-controlled zone of Northern Cyprus on April 15, thus
beginning his fourth five-year term as the area's leader.
Denktash got 43.7% of the vote in the first round, while the
challenger, Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu, got 30.1%. A
second round of elections was planned, but Eroğlu withdrew
his candidacy, after which Denktash was declared to have won
Negotiations on membership in the EU continued during the
year. In November, the EU pointed to important structural
reforms that had been implemented, including: VAT has been
increased from 8 to 10% and the health care system is being
reformed. But the EU also pointed to changes that remain, in
particular reduced government intervention in the economy
and improved border control.