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  • nomad68 
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Hi - I am 41, British and currently working in the Middle East.

I am interested in either Malta/Gozo or Cyprus as a place to buy a home and eventually retire to when the time comes. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has lived in or moved from Cyprus to Malta and what their opinions on the two places are.

Same for Crete (which is my third choice of location - at the moment!)

Many thanks!
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  • gozomark 
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Hi, and welcome to the forum Very Happy

I'm not aware of anyone on the forum who has moved from either Cyprus (or Crete) to Malta. There are threads on what Malta is like on the
"where to live in Malta or Gozo ?"
http://www.britishexpat.com/expatforum/country/viewforum.php?f=139
and on the "bad vibes" boards
http://www.britishexpat.com/expatforum/malta/viewforum.php?f=822
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Last edited by gozomark on Tue 21 Apr 2009 12:15 GMT; edited 1 time in total
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  • gozomark 
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you might get some joy posting on the Cyprus forum
http://www.britishexpat.com/expatforum/country/viewforum.php?f=139
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  • peterj 
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gozomark wrote:

I'm not aware of anyone on the forum who has moved from either Cyprus (or Crete) to Malta.


Mark, Raph used to live in Cyprus, and used to post quite a lot. I can't recall whether they ever did a comparison, but a search for posts by them may turn something up.
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  • centralad 
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We lived in Northern Cyprus for 3 years, and spent some time in Southern Cyprus. No contest compared to Malta, would not go back to North or South Sad
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  • johnofessex 
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Quote:
We lived in Northern Cyprus for 3 years, and spent some time in Southern Cyprus. No contest compared to Malta, would not go back to North or South


Hi Centralad

It's really interesting to hear your views on this. I guess that quite a few people, like nomad68, have considered both Malta and Cyprus, since they have some similarities (eg Mediterranean, small, ex-British colonies, English widely spoken, fairly favourable tax regimes).

You've "been there" and formed a clear view that Malta is a better bet than (either) Cyprus.

Could you maybe tell us a little more about what makes you think so? I'm not disagreeing with you, just trying to understand better.
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  • pjr 
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I'd be very interested to hear about the reasons as well, as many people have recommended Cyprus to me.

PJ
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  • nomad68 
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Thanks for the replies.
Centralad - it would be great if you could tell us why you rate Malta above Cyprus. I am sure I am not the only one who is trying to weigh up the pros and cons of these places.

Crete is now off my list - it is down to Malta and Cyprus so I am still looking for info!
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  • centralad 
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Northern Cyprus (Turkish side) was initially great, but since 2004 it has become a concrete jungle (just like what Malta seems to be heading for), hundreds of empty and unfinished properties everywhere. Local builder tries to do a runner with £millions of house buyers money, estate agents and construction companies setting up and then disappearing overnight.
Prices of everything rocketed, the Golden Goose was cooked !
Claims by Greek Cypriots against Brits who have purchased (allegedly) property / land which belong to Greeks and not Turks.
Thousands of Turkish Mainlanders moving to Northern Cyprus, crime goes up.
Could go on, but remember this is only my observations.

Southern Cyprus (Greek side) was too busy and too money orientated for me. I always think of the saying " never trust a Greek bearing gifts ". If something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is Wink
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  • nomad68 
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Many thanks for the info Centralad!
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  • johnofessex 
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Centralad, thank you!

A couple of points from my own researches. "Cyprus" here means only the Southern, Greek, Republic of Cyprus.

1) Malta has a (cheap and cheerful, rough and ready) public transport system. Cyprus doesn't. If you want to be car-free, as I do, that's a plus for Malta.

2) The tax systems differ, perhaps especially for retirees. (NB - usual caveats - this is not professional advice and you should check it before relying on it! Also, tax systems may change.) If you get a pension from overseas, Cyprus I believe offers a low flat rate of tax (5%) on it. This is lower than the 15% flat rate available under the Maltese PR scheme, and is subject to far fewer conditions. On the other hand, Cyprus taxes you on worldwide income, Malta only on income (not capital) remitted to Malta. Malta allows you to keep a capital sum offshore and (with appropriate timing) remit it tax-free as capital to Malta.

My tentative conclusion from that is that Cyprus might offer a somewhat better tax deal for retirees with an income stream paid from a pension scheme, Malta for someone aiming to live off a capital fund under their own control.

Of course, how much difference that makes will depend on personal circumstances, and there's more to life than minimising tax.
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  • centralad 
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John, oooohhh don't go there 8) The politics regarding the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and the EU recognised Republic of Cyprus, is a nightmare Rolling Eyes

Have studied the situation since 1974 (35 years) and can see no solution to the problem within the next 35 years Sad

Which is the main reason for us leaving.
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  • johnofessex 
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Hi Centralad

Another really interesting post, thank you!

I must admit my understanding is that (whatever the wider rights and wrongs of the Greek/Turkish dispute) Turkey has never quite managed to make much of a go of Northern Cyprus, either in getting it internationally recognised or in building a sound economic base there.

The dispute certainly does look rather insoluble. And clearly living in a divided country (on either side) could be uncomfortable.

Having said that, though, if you live as an expat in the South, and if you recognise that people there are still upset about the issue, does the division of the island then have a real negative impact on your quality of life?

Again, I really don't know, but would welcome your views.

Clearly this is one problem that Malta doesn't face.
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  • centralad 
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We found that the TC's (Turkish Cypriots) were always open minded about the political situation, and never, ever, tried to influence us in any way. They were not in any way bitter towards the GC's (Greek Cypriots), which is why the TC's voted in favour of unification.
Holidaymakers, and TRNC residents never had a problem crossing from South to North, it was straightforward, we never even had to get out of the taxi, and the TC officers were always polite and helpful.

We only travelled from North to South on 3 occasions, and on every occasion we encountered rude and aggressive GC officers who insisted we open our cases / luggage, the contents were then dumped on a table, and after rummaging through everything they asked us if we had ANY documents regarding Property, estate agents, lawyers, etc. Not a very pleasant experience, after which we always flew to Turkey, then on to TRNC.

The GC's voted against unification Sad .

All above is our experience , others may of course have different experiences to ours.
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  • johnofessex 
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Thanks again for sharing your experiences.
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