Beware the Ides of March: for two weeks earlier this year, the world held its collective breath as Cyprus teetered on the brink. What began with Cypriot banks closing their doors to prevent a run ended with recently installed president Nicos Anastasiades signing a bailout deal with the Troika that he hopes will save the country from bankruptcy.
Anastasiades walked into the crisis with his eyes open. Cyprus, which has been in dire straits following successive ratings downgrades last year, sought financial aid and support in June, and entered negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and the European Central Bank. However, Cyprus was unlikely to face the embarrassment of bankruptcy negotiations until its six-month tenure of the EU presidency ended last December. Inertia prevailed until the new government was elected in February, tasked with saving the nation’s economy. Not since the violent partition of the island in the mid-1970s has the country so dominated world headlines.