It has often been said that Cyprus never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
It is important to first understand how the small Mediterranean republic became so fractured. It is a combination of territorial struggles and failed reconciliation efforts that makes each new campaign for reconciliation so much more painful.
Cyprus’s identity consists mostly of Greek influences and a Turkish influence due to its geographic proximity. A former British colony, Cyprus has been an independent republic since 1960. However, turmoil between the two largest groups in Cyprus had bubbled long before the final cry for independence. During its extensive British occupation, it is believed that the British encouraged the separation of the Turkish and Greek communities to strengthen its own hold on the republic.
Today, Cyprus stands in a position it is unfortunately too familiar with — it is forced with the idea of reunification due to a major political or financial trigger. Cypriot problems can be split up into two major problems: one of diplomacy and unification, and another of debt and financial crisis that plagues the republic as a whole.
It is uncertain whether reconciliation will follow in this time of crisis and need. As was once wearily observed by David Hannay, a retired UK diplomat who came to specialise in the issue, no one ever lost money betting against successful negotiations in Cyprus. One can only learn from the triggers and consequences of past crises and see if there is anything new to be learned from the most recent financial meltdown.