A chance to visit a place probably/hopefully unique in the whole universe.

The stock exchange or more properly money (xrima) exchange.


The Cyprus Stock Exchange is interesting for two major reasons.

1. At the time of the stock exchange's inception, shares in organisations that peak worldwide at £2-£3 in Cyprus once got to £6 or over. "The Mediterranean Bubble" alias HAK in fact performs like an ordinary stock exchange on hallucinogenic drugs. Only this can explain a chain of supermarkets that peaked at £7 per share.

2. Elsewhere "fortunes are made and lost" on the stock exchange. In Cyprus, fortunes are made – the question of loss is unthinkable. Especially when you are playing with huge bank loans or else the deeds to your house.

People did loose of course, and regularly, but the natural reticence of any Hellene to ever admit an error - never mind a flagrantly ill-judged, greed induced blunder - tends to keep these personal tragedies firmly under raps.
People glibly talked of "playing" until they double or triple their money until such time as the luck of a volatile market turns their way or else reality supervenes as it so very often does.

All of these circumstances are handled in a uniquely Cypriot fashion. Initially the suggestion of anything unusual/regrettable being afoot is denied with looks of puzzled innocence and any and all subsequent disasters simply will not be discussed.
Latterly the bubble has in fact terminally burst and individuals who had put their cars, houses and next of kin epoh theeki (under mortgage)now stand in real danger of losing these items, despite their meson at the local bank.
Demands have been made that the government compensate them for the results of their own rapacity and lack of foresight and that the banks should be extra tolerant.

It is remarkable that some individuals - those who lost money - think it desirable that the Republic of Cyprus should be compelled by law to sponsor from the public purse the greed and short-sightedness of a number of its citizens.
One is tempted to ask how happy those same rapacious citizens, had their investments been more successful, whether they would have been happy to contribute anything to the public purse.


In latter days, the wholesale theft of money by German-dominated Europe from private individuals shows that this "Someone else has to pay for my errors" attitude is no longer unique to Cyprus.