HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 300

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representatives. The fact is that we were reduced to a financial ebb of the gravest character by the absorption at Constantinople of an unfair proportion of the revenue, and our government was not in a position to risk a reduction of income by such an important change in the system of taxation. The Cypriotes have nevertheless derived a collateral advantage from the change of rulers, as the extreme grievances to which the consular reports allude were aggravated by the farmers of taxes, who no longer exist. These people were extortioners of the worst description, and the bribes and extra payments' extracted from the vinegrowers are represented in the gross sum mentioned as amounting to 40 per cent, upon the general produce of the vineyard. The reforms already established by the abolition of the nefarious system of tax-farming have relieved the vine-growers from the most serious oppression, but sufficient abuses remain to demand a radical change, if the industry for which Cyprus is specially adapted by nature is to be encouraged. As Γ have described in outline the rude method of cultivation and the manufacture of wine from the first bursting of the young vines, I will now examine the system of arbitrary interference to which the vinegrower is exposed through the successive stages of his employment. The first tax is perfectly fair, as it is calculated according to the rateable value of the land, which is divided into three classes. These qualities of soil vary in the valuation from No. ι = 500 piastres the donum (about half an acre) to No. 3 = 100 „ „ The malliea, or annual tax upon these valuations per donum, is 2 per cent.

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