April 1 is Cyprus National Day, an anniversary to commemorate the start of the campaign against British colonial rule. But this year, an economic struggle is dominating the island.
President Nicos Anastasiades is proposing innovative new measures and he says Cyprus must fight its own battles.
Anastasiades told reporters: “We’re not expecting anything from Greece. I mean, it’s not a duty of Greece, they owe nothing to us. So, we have to fight ourselves. And to build up the new era.”
Risking the anger of the Orthodox church, Anastasiades is proposing to lift the ban on casinos. They are permitted in the northern part of the island – where they attract tourists, mainly from Turkey.
In Nicosia, local Christos Constantinou said he thought it was a good idea: “Yes, of course it will help, of course it will – because now too many people go to the other side and play millions. It’s better to (make it) work here.”
Opening up casinos is part of Anastasiades 12-point plan to rescue the Cypriot economy.
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