In 1971 tourism in Cyprus was still in its infancy though Europeans and especially Britons were beginning to appreciate the good life that the island had to offer. Even so, tourist arrivals were still under 260,000 a year. The Turkish invasion of 1974 almost completely devastated the tourist industry but it awakened in the population a determination to rebuild and excel as never before. Today tourism is the backbone of the economy. Luxury hotels abound and the island's tourist industry caters for the rich and not so rich visitors. By 2001 yearly arrivals were just under 2.7 million.

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The history of Europe may be divided into two major periods. A period of wars and distensions, of societal or economic relations or differences, a history of destruction of limited duration according to unfolding events at any particular time, and another period of history, that is immortal, alive and everlasting which unites and brings great joy and contentment to all who participate in it.This history of the European spirit is the one that is filled with radiating light.
The idea of a United Europe began to manifest itself in the issue of stamps with a common design where the only differences were size and colors. Soon however (after 1973) Europe decided that in this way it promoted neither the European intellectual life nor opened the way for the creation of new ideas; on the contrary it only leveled down and restricted the expression of each country. It therefore decided to define the theme only and allow each country to present its own designs. Only in 1984 and again in 2000 did Europe decide to present a common design for the stamps in order to emphasize its unity. In this European intellectual history, Cyprus too has its own share, and its contribution will be presented in the successive "Europa" issues with a common theme.

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After the devastation brought about by the 2nd World War, visionary statesmen such as Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Alcide de Gasperi and Robert Schuman set about to persuade their people to enter a new era and a new order in Western Europe. It was thus that the foundations of what was to become the European Union were laid on 9th May 1950, when six countries, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg took the decision to pool their coal and steel resources. With the Treaty of Paris they set up the Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951. This act set in motion a peaceful co-operation that has been moving forward progressively for over half a century. In 1957 the Treaty of Rome set up the European Economic Community (EEC). The EEC was based on the concept of a common market in goods and services. The success of this venture saw the first enlargement of the EEC with Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark joining in 1973. Greece joined in 1981 followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986. In 1991 the member states negotiated the Treaty of Maastricht. The EEC was re-named ""The European Community"" (EC).
By adding areas of intergovernmental co-operation to the existing community system, the Treaty created the European Union (EU), which came into force on 1st November 1993. Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in 1995. This treaty envisaged, among other things, the creation of a monetary union by 1999, and on 1st January 2002 twelve countries replaced their national currencies with the new currency the ""EURO"". At the Copenhagen summit on 13th December 2002, The European Council took the decision to welcome ten more countries to join the EU on 1st May 2004.
This was one of the most significant steps in the entire history of the European Union. In Athens on 16th April 2003, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia signed the accession treaties. They joined the EU as full members on 1st May 2004. Cyprus aims to adopt the ""Euro"" in 2007 or early 2008.

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Founded in 1954, the European Football Association, UEFA, celebrated its 50th anniversary in the knowledge that it had contributed enormously in promoting young players, combating racism in football and organizing competitions such as the annual Champions League Tournament. From the original 30 members, it now boasts a membership of 52 national associations and takes pride in being one of the most successful and influential sports organizations in Europe.

With Athens hosting the 2004 Olympic Games, the annual Championship League Tournament opened in Lisbon with Portugal versus Greece and the latter winning by two goals to one. The players were fired by greater hopes of glory and even when they were outclassed, they never faltered nor lost sight of the glory they were seeking. It soon became evident that all twelve Olympian Gods were favouring the Greek team, and when they won the final against Portugal by one goal to nil, emotions of elation, disbelief and despair among the Greek and Portuguese players and spectators were overwhelming. It was a harbinger of what was to be achieved at the Olympic Games later in the year.

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One hundred and eight years after the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, the Games returned in full glory to their ancient and spiritual homeland in a 21st century world living in fear of unprecedented terrorist attacks. Never in the history of the Olympics was security such a prominent issue than at the Athens 2004 Games. Land, sea and air security measures cost Greece some 1.5 billion Euros and the 70,000 armed soldiers patrolling the Games were almost inconspicuous. Four billion television viewers and 70,000 spectators who packed the futuristic Olympic stadium were captivated and enchanted by an opening ceremony that combined thunderous pyrotechnics, state-of-the art technology, magical lighting, music, fire and water. The flooded infield of the stadium reflected the hundreds of drummers drumming to the rhythm of a racing heartbeat while a fiery comet hitting the expanse of water set into flames five Olympic circles. As Eros, the God of Love, hovered above the oval arena, a parade of actors in statuesque poses enacted 3,000 years of mythology, culture, philosophy, history and civilization from the early Minoan age to the Archaic, the Classical, the Byzantine, the Christian, the Ottoman as well as the present and future times. 202 nations and 11,099 athletes took part and Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, addressing the athletes said: ""You give flight to our souls; Greece is going to fire the world's imagination"". For the first time since the 4th century A.D. the shot put event was held at the ancient stadium of Olympia, while the runners in the marathon race re-traced the route that the legendary messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathonas in Attica to the Marble Stadium in Athens to announce Athens’ victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. The men's and women's marathon winners were crowned by olive wreaths made from 3,000 years old trees. World and Olympic records tumbled and in the women's pole vault the Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 4.91 meters. A hitherto unknown Greek athlete Athanasia (meaning immortality) Tsoumeleka gave the Greek nation an emotional uplift when she won the gold medal in the 20 km walking event, and when Fani Halkia unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 400 meters hurdles event, Greeks everywhere went into a frenzy. Michael Phelps, the 19 year old American swimmer won eight medals, six of them gold, and matched the Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin’s 1980 record for the most medals won by an individual at anyone of the Games. The closing ceremony of multi -colored flashing fireworks, music, songs and dances from yesteryear to present days, corn harvesters and grape treading was a magnificent show of joy and jubilation no less spectacular than the opening ceremony. To the famous tune of Zorba the Greek, the corn harvesters carrying bundles of corn stalks formed the five interlinked Olympic rings. Athens gave the world an unforgettable and enthralling experience that would be remembered for years to come. It triumphed and humbled all its critics who had berated its ability to host the Games and earned their thanks and congratulations on an impeccably and imaginatively staged Games.

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One hundred and eight years after the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, the Games returned in full glory to their ancient and spiritual homeland in a 21st century world living in fear of unprecedented terrorist attacks. Never in the history of the Olympics was security such a prominent issue than at the Athens 2004 Games. Land, sea and air security measures cost Greece some 1.5 billion Euros and the 70,000 armed soldiers patrolling the Games were almost inconspicuous. Four billion television viewers and 70,000 spectators who packed the futuristic Olympic stadium were captivated and enchanted by an opening ceremony that combined thunderous pyrotechnics, state-of-the art technology, magical lighting, music, fire and water. The flooded infield of the stadium reflected the hundreds of drummers drumming to the rhythm of a racing heartbeat while a fiery comet hitting the expanse of water set into flames five Olympic circles. As Eros, the God of Love, hovered above the oval arena, a parade of actors in statuesque poses enacted 3,000 years of mythology, culture, philosophy, history and civilization from the early Minoan age to the Archaic, the Classical, the Byzantine, the Christian, the Ottoman as well as the present and future times. 202 nations and 11,099 athletes took part and Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, addressing the athletes said: ""You give flight to our souls; Greece is going to fire the world's imagination"". For the first time since the 4th century A.D. the shot put event was held at the ancient stadium of Olympia, while the runners in the marathon race re-traced the route that the legendary messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathonas in Attica to the Marble Stadium in Athens to announce Athens’ victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. The men's and women's marathon winners were crowned by olive wreaths made from 3,000 years old trees. World and Olympic records tumbled and in the women's pole vault the Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 4.91 meters. A hitherto unknown Greek athlete Athanasia (meaning immortality) Tsoumeleka gave the Greek nation an emotional uplift when she won the gold medal in the 20 km walking event, and when Fani Halkia unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 400 meters hurdles event, Greeks everywhere went into a frenzy. Michael Phelps, the 19 year old American swimmer won eight medals, six of them gold, and matched the Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin’s 1980 record for the most medals won by an individual at anyone of the Games. The closing ceremony of multi -colored flashing fireworks, music, songs and dances from yesteryear to present days, corn harvesters and grape treading was a magnificent show of joy and jubilation no less spectacular than the opening ceremony. To the famous tune of Zorba the Greek, the corn harvesters carrying bundles of corn stalks formed the five interlinked Olympic rings. Athens gave the world an unforgettable and enthralling experience that would be remembered for years to come. It triumphed and humbled all its critics who had berated its ability to host the Games and earned their thanks and congratulations on an impeccably and imaginatively staged Games.

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Rhinodolphin ( Turslops truncatus ) :The earliest known mammals lived some 210 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Over tens of millions of years they adapted, evolved and flourished through all climatic changes and natural disasters. Most paleontologists believed that dolphins descended from an extinct line of carnivorous mammals that became aquatic about 50 million years ago. Geneticists on the other hand have found evidence that mammals diversified into today's 18 living orders.

Dolphins like whales and porpoises belong to the Cetacean order. They are the swiftest of cetaceans and they pursue shoals of herring and sardines. They frequent warm temperature waters and the Tursiops truncatus, or Rhinodolphin, one of the most common, grows up to 4 meters and has 100 teeth. A dolphin's fin is but a flattened bone-filled hand it uses for steering and balance. Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals and are often known to have saved the lives of swimmers in distress. In open seas they live in large schools of hundreds.

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At the time of his untimely death in a tragic plane crash in 1999, Yiannos Kranidiotis was Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece responsible for the Cyprus problem and European issues. Born in Nicosia in 1947 he studied Law at the University of Athens and completed his post- graduate studies in the United States and Great Britain. He was an ardent believer in Cyprus’ aspirations to join the European Union and as head of the team handling the Cyprus problem and EEC policies in Cyprus and Greece, he worked tirelessly and single -mindedly to promote and advance Cyprus’ case in Europe. In issuing this stamp to commemorate the 5th anniversary of his death on the very day that Cyprus became a full member of the European Union, Cyprus acknowledges its debt to him and honours a great patriot.

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Emilios Hourmouzios (1904-1973) was born in Limassol. He resided in Athens from 1925 until his death. In 1955 he became director of the National Theater and he staged what was to become the annual theatrical festival of Epidaurus which is held to this day. He served in this capacity until 1964. Emilios Hourmouzios was one of the major critics of his time. Many of his works were translated into other languages. In his work, ""The Ancient Drama in Our Time"", Hourmouzios argues that the interpretation of classical Greek drama in open-air theaters demands new directing and acting methods that run contrary to the methods practiced by the realistic theater of the day. He advocated the modernizing of the ancient classical dramas by separating tragedy from its theocratic and religious roots. In his work,""The Modern Interpretation of Attic Drama"",Hourmouzios divides Greek theater into three periods: classical, medieval, and modern.
He claims that modern Greek theater is not different from European theater and that the distinctive mark of modern Greek theater since 1927 has been the revival of classical drama.

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Georgios Philippou Pierides was born in 1904 in Dhali and died in 1999 in Nicosia. He is considered to be one of the most significant Cypriot writers with a special contribution to the novel, short story and literary essays. He started his literary career in Egypt where he lived from 1904-1946 with the novel "Oi Vamvkades" (The Cotton Growers) 1945 and continued in Cyprus with "Short Stories from the Middle East" 1949 and another five collections of short stories "Skliroi Kairoi" (Hard Times) 1963, "Asaleftoi Kairoi" (Unchanging Times) 1966, "O Kairos tonOlvion" (The Times of the Fortunate) 1975, "O Kairos tis dokimasias" (Trying Times) 1978, "O Kalos politis kai alloi", (The Good Citizen and others) 1993.He also published two books of literary essays "Tessera themata logou" (Four literary themes) 1973,"Dio parallila themata logou" (Two parallel literary themes) 1980 as wellas the books "Memories and Stories from Egypt" 1986 and "More Memories from Egypt" 1995.

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