Our local liquor store owner says there is no legal drinking age in Cyprus, but that if a 12 year old wants vodka, he only sells him a very small bottle. Of course. Small person, small bottle.
I have asked a policeman; he states drinking age is 17. He said it is a grey area, and some say it is 16. The government web page gives it as 18, but this is clearly only De Jure.
The policeman said that no-one would complain of a child having wine with dinner, out with family. This is normal, he said, and unless there is drunkenness, the police have no issue.
Police statistics on Cypriot Drug abuse are counter-intuitive, considering the easy access children have to booze.
For the entire country, not counting Cannabis related offenses, there were only 164 police cases involving drugs.**
7 Heroin, 60 cocaine, 7 Ecstasy, the rest listed as ‘other’….which has to include Oxycontin, Meth, Crack, etc.
That’s for 1,100,000 people: 164 drug-crime arrests.
Compare to Los Angeles, CA with 4 million people and 70,000 Drug-crime arrests (plus an additional 60,000 admitted to treatment).
That should give you an idea….the rate of drug arest in:
Cyprus is 1 : 6700
For LA it is 1 : 57.
You never see a drug addict out, even very late at night. No-where.
You never see the young drug-dealer hanging out next to liquor stores, bus stations, parks….nowhere, even in the poorest districts.
In the ‘bars’ …most people drink coffee, not booze, whether in bar or restaurant. You never see a drunk Cypriot. Never. Coffee, Back-gammon, cards, conversation…smiles. That’s it.
And Cyprus is only 100 miles off the coast of Turkey, notorious for Heroin production. Cyprus, with only 7 patrol boats and a couple of airplanes, does not seem to have a problem at the borders….if drugs are getting in, they don’t stop long.
That said, it is also true that the Cypriot Police are very active re drugs….a simple call to the police alleging that a person was in possession of drugs resulted in the police finding and jailing the miscreant.
In another case, a ‘moderate’ amount of drug possession for sale resulted in a rather long sentence…“Limassol criminal court Wednesday jailed a 33-year-old man for 13 years after he was found guilty of importing, possessing, using and intending to supply 33 kilos of cannabis and one and a half kilos of cocaine. The man had been put under surveillance by the drug squad on June 22 last year, following a tip off.” http://cyprus-mail.com/tag/drugs/
I will ask about, but at first blush, it seems that the social/political structure here, in total, does not tend to promote drug use, alcohol abuse, or other criminal acts. At least I am assuming it is the social structure.
Unless we assume the USA has the ‘best’ social/political structure. Which it has to have, of course. No doubt there. The best. No question. Nope. Zip. Nada. Absolutely better than some backward island in the Med. Gotta be.
I mean really. Who sells Vodka to Children?
** I leave Cannabis out if the tally, as it is legal in much of the US, and where not legal, enforcement is thin. But there are 800 Cannabis related arrests in Cyprus per year, for reference.