Turkish Cypriots spent €14.7 million using plastic cards in the South, while Greek Cypriots spent €5.1 million in the North, according to data from JCC Payment Systems. Another €1.8 million was spent by Greek Cypriots in Turkey, writes Fiona Mullen for ‘Cyprus Weekly’.
Spending patterns have emerged from data kept by the card payment company over the last ten years. What is clear is that Turkish Cypriots spend far more in the South than do Greek Cypriots in the TRNC.
Across the whole of 2016, Turkish Cypriots spent €26.1 million, meanwhile Greek Cypriots spent €7.4 million.
Mullen also notes that what is of particular interest is that Turkish Cypriot spending in the south has increased by 55% despite the fall in the value of the Turkish lira. In 2014, their annual spend in the south was €16.8 million, by 2016 it had shot up to €26.1 million.
Mullen says that the likely reason is that the price of goods in the north have risen beyond what would be expected against the exchange rate. The other factor is that there has always been a wider range of goods on offer south of the border.
Since the collapse of the Cyprus negotiations, there have been calls from some Greek Cypriot circles to close the borders. If this became a permanent feature, both sides would lose out, but it would be the Greek Cypriot retailers who would sustain the biggest losses.
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