About the Cyprus Pound

Country:	Cyprus
Currency:	Pound
Alias:	Cyprus pound
ISO 4217 CODE:	CYP/196
Symbol:	£C

The Cyprus pound is the officially currency of the Republic of Cyprus, the governing authority for the southern, Greek-influenced portion of this island situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. In the northern, Turkish-influenced area, the new Turkish lira is still used. The Republic became a member of the European Union in 2004, and while there are hopes for an eventual reunification between both sides of the island, significant political barriers still prevent this goal from being attained. In the meantime, the international community has opted to recognize the Republic as the legitimate governing authority for the entire island, and the Cyprus pound remains pegged to the euro as a precondition for total conversion.

Background of the Cyprus Pound

The strategically-located Mediterranean island of Cyprus has played an important role in Near East trade for several millennia, and has been claimed by various empires throughout history. Known for its significant maritime industry and settled primarily by Greeks and Turks, the island was controlled by Great Britain beginning in 1878 and formally annexed in 1913. By the end of World War II, Cypriots had grown somewhat frustrated by British colonial rule, and independence was finally granted to the island in 1960, with the U.K. retaining two military bases. Over the next decade, both Greece and Turkey attempted to reassert their influence over Cyprus. The feud ultimately culminated in military action and a physical division of the island in 1974. The island remains divided today, with a buffer zone established by the United Nations separating the two portions.

The Cyprus pound – which is also known as the Cypriot pound, and occasionally as the Cyprus lira – is the currency for the Greek-dominated Republic of Cyprus, which occupies the southern portion of the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – the entity occupying the north portion of the island, and diplomatically recognized only by Turkey – uses the new Turkish lira as its currency. As of May, 2005, the Cyprus pound became pegged to the euro under the terms of the Exchange Rate Mechanism II, as the Republic has intentions of making a complete transition to the euro before the end of the decade.

The Cyprus pound is divided into 100 cents. Up until 1983, it had had been divided into 1000 mils, but this system was abandoned in an attempt to simplify the monetary system and bring it in line with other decimal-based currencies. Denominations for coins are 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c. Denominations for banknotes are £C1, £C5, £C10 and £C20.

Article: Czech Koruna