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Yearbook 2012

Cyprus. On 25 June, Cyprus became the fifth euro country to be forced to seek assistance from the eurozone rescue fund. The large lending by the Cypriot banks to Greece caused the Cyprus budget deficit to plummet and the international credit rating agencies to lower the country's status to bottom levels. The worst affected was Cyprus Popular Bank (CPB), the country's second largest bank, whose losses on loans to Greece caused the government to pledge in May a capital injection of EUR 2.25 billion, about 12% of Cyprus's total GDP. The size of the rescue package was still unclear in November, but there was talk of € 17 billion.

2012 Cyprus

According to countryaah, Cyprus took office on 1 June as EU President for the following six months. The leader of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, had already said in January that the Cypriot Presidency was a "natural end point" for the ongoing negotiations for a future reunification of the island. In April, the state-run Turkish oil company TPAO began drilling for oil and gas near the city of Famagusta on the northern part of the island, partly in the Cyprus economic zone. The Cyprus Government claimed that the drilling violated international law.

Eight people, including former Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou and former Defense Minister Costas Papacostas, were indicted in March for, among other things, the killing in connection with the fire that devastated a naval base near the city of Limassol in 2011, when 13 people were killed. Cyprus and Israel signed defense cooperation agreements in January, and both countries agreed in March with Greece to cooperate on an electricity cable from Israel to Cyprus and on to Crete.

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