cyprusEarlier today, the European Central Bank (ECB) set a deadline for Cyprus, warning that it will cut off liquidity to Cypriot banks next Monday unless a deal is reached on an EU/IMF bailout package. Cypriot banks have been closed for several days now to avoid a run, but without funding from the ECB, several of them may never reopen (a fact which German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ominously reminded Cyprus of on Tuesday).

A controversial levy on savings deposits had earlier been rejected by the Cypriot parliament, but there are now questions about how Cyprus is going to come up with the  5.8 billion euros required to fulfil the bail-out conditions. Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has been visiting Russia hoping to secure additional financing, but the response from Moscow has been muted.

We recently had a strongly-worded comment sent in from Chris from the UK, who accused the EU of ‘stealing’ the savings of its citizens:

The Cypriot government just voted to steal 10% of all the savings held in the country’s banks in order to bail itself out of its euro mess… [The EU] is now having to loot from the saved wealth of its own citizens to stop itself from collapsing altogether. 

We put this comment to Rafał Trzaskowski, a Polish MEP with the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), for his reaction:

trzaskowski-speaks

Well, the decision to institute a bank levy was hugely controversial. Unfortunately, it can produce a certain amount of panic, because if something like this happens in Cyprus it might just as well happen in other European countries, so no wonder citizens are going to be quite worried about it.

However, the problem was that many big accounts in Cyprus are held by Russian oligarchs – as well as some shady businessmen from all around Europe – and no wonder that some of the European governments don’t want to fund them. That’s why such a drastic decision was made in the first place.

In my view, it should have been done differently. People with smaller accounts – up to 100,000 euros – should have been exempted from these rules from the beginning, and the levy should only have been targeted at the tycoons.

We also put the same comment to Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, a Portuguese MEP also with the European People’s Party, and she had a very different reaction:

neves-speaks

I totally agree with Chris, and ‘stealing’ is the right word. This idea was crossing the line. It’s very dangerous, and it will spread a lack of trust towards savings in other countries, and a lack of trust towards the eurozone.

I’m very critical of the European governments for this measure, because it seems they don’t pay attention to the consequences of their actions. This is not the right way to recover from the economic crisis, nor from the serious social crisis affecting many countries.

We also had a comment sent in from Lyubomir, who works in a business selling Bulgarian produce in Cyprus. He explained the effect that the bank closures have been having on businesses in the country:

We are traders from Cyprus. I would like to say that the measurements against the Cypriot economy are very difficult to endure. It is already the second day without banks, and the country is in chaos. We can’t run our business. Please take action and help the Cypriot people and the Cypriot banks!

We spoke to a Cypriot MEP, Antigoni Papadopoulou, who is with the Socialist group in the European Parliament. We asked her where the money for Cyprus would come from if the bank levy is not implemented.

PAPADOPOULOU-speaks

It’s not easy to reply to this question, but there are ways. We are members of the EU and the eurozone, and the Republic of Cyprus has tried to get a loan from the European Stability Mechanism. However, with Cyprus strongly opposing haircuts on its deposits, we are forced to look for alternatives. As you know, the Minister of Financial Affairs went to Moscow earlier this week.

We had a comment sent in from Eoin suggesting that “It looks like the Moscow will be sending a cheque to Cyprus in order to bail them out.

However, any deal with Russia would likely have tough conditions attached, including possibly rights to Cypriot natural gas reserves. Would this be a fair price to pay?

It’s not a matter of a fair price to pay. In light of the discovery of natural gas reserves, the prospects for my country appear to be very promising. We hope this will upgrade the role of Cyprus in area. These reserves will benefit the Cypriot people, as well as Europe. They will create a lot of prosperity, progress, and peace in the region. If the possibility of a deal with Russia is there, why not? Maybe we will reach some sort of agreement with Moscow over exploitation of Cypriot natural gas. If the EU refuses us, we have to find alternative ways. If we are knocking on doors that are closed on us, we shall continue knocking until we find one that is open…

There is a real lack of European solidarity, which is something we sought for. We made many sacrifices in order to integrate the Republic of Cyprus into the great European family in 2008. We don’t want to leave this family, we want to remain part of eurozone and the EU. But we are waiting for answers to a host of questions at this critical hour, when Cyprus is knocking at the gates of our EU partners.

Finally, we took Lyubomir’s comment to Ulrike Lunacek, an Austrian MEP with the Green group in the European Parliament. How would she react?

lunacek-speaks

On the one hand: of course that’s a difficult situation. If you don’t have access to banks, don’t have access to your money, can’t make money transfers to your clients or from your clients, etc. That I understand.

On the other hand: Cyprus is in a difficult situation, we’ve known that for many years already. The problem I have with the situation in Cyprus – and not just me, but also a big majority in the European Parliament – is that Cyprus has been something of a tax oasis and a country with high interest rates. Also, lots of money that had been laundered, from countries like Russia and others, has been deposited in Cyprus. So, lots of the Cypriot banks are simply based on illegal money…

So, the fact that it was decided last week that those who have over 100,000 euros should finally pay some taxes for once, I think that’s perfectly right. They should have done that a long time ago, and they also should have raised taxes from 10 to 12%. This is important.

But the parliament in Cyprus has not agreed on these measures, even though the Council had said that people who have less than 100,000 euros in their banks would not be involved. I think that’s really important, because we have a safeguard for savings up to 100,000 euros all over the EU, and that should not be touched.

However, I also think that Cyprus definitely has to change its system of banking and to stop being a tax haven. And that’s also the problem: the EU does not have the capacity to have an obligatory say on tax issues. If we had that, I think tax havens like Cyprus already would have changed things some time ago.

What do YOU think? Is it ‘stealing’ for Cyprus to levy a tax on people’s savings in order to meet the EU bail-out conditions? Should EU countries agree to a bail-out without such strict conditions, even if it means people who have been using Cyprus as a tax haven escape having to contribute? Should Cyprus look to Russia for help? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below!



80 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. avatar
    Tolis Matsaridis

    Guys, the Eurozone is not going to work like that…
    Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Portugal…
    WHo is next….?

  2. avatar
    Γρηγοράκης Σ.

    hmmm let me think a solution let me think.
    I think cyprus should just publish an international warrant on the head of the eurogroup for employing deliberate economic terrorism

  3. avatar
    Paul Galbally

    I think the Cypriot government has been very foolish, I do feel sorry for ordinary Cypriots, but this is the consequence of poor political choices.

  4. avatar
    Arcadian

    “I strongly believe that a bank has to be taxed in any transction. Let´s say a very small 1 o/oo.
    every day in the world comes and go more than 1 tr. dollars.

    Finally, it´s just a decision… for the global society´s commonwealth…..

  5. avatar
    Dominik Góra

    A bank levy is not ideal but it is better than going to the Russians for help! Not surprising the bank levy did not go through, after all the Russians would have been heavily affected…

  6. avatar
    Andreas Agathokleous

    EU is a big failure. Yes, it is stealing as the money you want to take from us is going to the banks/creditors. Why should people pay the banks’ mismanagement and what business do YOU have in our bank accounts? Russia all the way; otherwise let us go bankrupt. Still much better than being economically dependent (in fact enslaved) by the major factors within the EU and you know very well to who i’m referring to.

  7. avatar
    Yiannis Klean

    The question should have been “is it a “ruthless murder” of 45% of Cyprus economy to impose a levy on deposits?” and the answer is a definite YES

  8. avatar
    Arcadian

    In Europe, there a lot of Tax Heavens. Unfortunately, we need a lot of space to talk about. If we want to survive, we nned to HONEST first between us dear European Member States.
    Here, please try to find the way that USA is trying to overpass its economical issues. Easy for Europe, because USA shows the way…. it´s just a decision…

  9. avatar
    Efrossiny Exarchoulakou

    someone of our ancestor had said during the revolution in greece against the othomanian empire “everything we do we would do it alone” and since in a few days we celebrate the revolution against the othomanic empire which was taken place in 1821 and after some years europe united face them in a battle in navarino in messinia and finally europeans won

  10. avatar
    André Gomes da Silva

    The E.U. is destroying the european dream, condemning millions of people to misery. The time is running out and the consequences will be dangerous. Look to the past and see the future. People will rise, and then…

  11. avatar
    Andreas

    EU is a big failure. Yes, it is stealing as the money you want to take from us is going to the banks/creditors. Why should people pay the banks’ mismanagement and what business do YOU have in our bank accounts? Russia all the way; otherwise let us go bankrupt. Still much better than being economically dependent (in fact enslaved) by the major factors within the EU and you know very well to who i’m referring to. A perfect example is Greece. They are literally bankrupt but, as the ”smart” EU officials did not want them to go officially bankrupt because they wanted to protect their own interests (and indeed the idea of the EU project), they are now not only bankrupt but they have to pay money as well to the supposed ”helpers”. Not to mention that all those money they have to pay back does not go to either them or their government.

  12. avatar
    Apostolos Agnantopoulos

    Crossing the Rubicon:

    The greatest harm in Germany’s effort to tame the euro crisis is not the economic uncertainty caused by the proposed haircut but the political impact of the Cypriot parliamentary vote. Cost sharing with investors and citizens been done before, most notably with the haircut of Greek bonds. The truly “unthinkable” that happened during the last few days is that a state “dared” to say no to the blackmailing dilemma comming from the EU, disregarding the fact that the cost of this refusal is greater than the cost of compromise. In Greece citizens are eager to see Greek politicians follow the Cypriot example. Recent election results in Italy show that this may be the case in other countries that face economic hardship.

    If Cyprus eventually becomes landmark for the collapse of the euro, future historians will struggle to understand how a country that represents less than 0.2% of euro area GDP caused such destruction. My assessment is that the cause should be sought in a combination of “structural incompatibility of interests” between North-South and “weakness” on the part of Germany to manage the hegemonic role. Berlin may no longer be “a giant with a childs brain” as Theodoros Pangalos once said. But unfortunately she unable to avoid the follies of a youngster who is coming of age and looking for his place in the world.

  13. avatar
    Jason

    I think Greek part of Cyprus should ask for help from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as Turkish people are doing quite good nowadays.

  14. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    Perhaps we should take the money out of the personal bank accounts of people working at the EU in Brussels (MEPs, Commissioners etc.) After all they earn more money in a month than most Europeans earn in a year !

  15. avatar
    Apostolos Agnantopoulos

    The decision to tax bank deposits is wrong. There may be an argument about taxing irresponsible bank depositors and Russian oligarchs. But it will undermine Germany’s effort to tame the euro crisis.

    The greatest damage is not the economic uncertainty caused by the proposed haircut but the political impact of the Cypriot parliamentary vote. Cost sharing with investors and citizens been done before, most notably with the haircut of Greek bonds. The truly “unthinkable” that happened during the last few days is that a state “dared” to say no to the blackmailing dilemma comming from the EU, disregarding the fact that the cost of this refusal is greater than the cost of compromise. In Greece citizens are eager to see Greek politicians follow the Cypriot example. Recent election results in Italy show that this may be the case in other countries that face economic hardship.

    If Cyprus eventually becomes landmark for the collapse of the euro, future historians will struggle to understand how a country that represents less than 0.2% of euro area GDP caused such destruction. My assessment is that the cause should be sought in a combination of “structural incompatibility of interests” between North-South and “weakness” on the part of Germany to manage the hegemonic role. Berlin may no longer be “a giant with a childs brain” as Theodoros Pangalos once said. But unfortunately she is unable to avoid the follies of a youngster who is coming of age and looking for her place in the world.

  16. avatar
    Alexandros Taliotis

    Let’s get one thing straight first. If anyone is STEALING in this case, it is not Cyprus, but the EU through the unacceptable proposal IMPOSED under threat by the following people:
    DIJSSELBLOEM: a center-left minister who nationalized a bank last month in holland causing ALL “small” depositors to lose “EVERYTHING” and the big ones almost nothing!
    Schauble: a euro sceptic, a person with hard nationalistic views and “paranoid” about an imminent global civil war, a recipient of 100,000 DM from a weapons manufacturer (which might be why he was a proponent of Germany’a involvement in the Iraq war.
    Lagarde: maybe chic-looking, but still under investigation in a case of embezzlement.
    Asmussen: a social democrat (and thus opponent of Merkel in the German election, making any action that could harm Merkel a subjective instead of an objective one) and a close friend of the President of the Bundesbank who opposes the ECB’s support to member nations by purchase of bonds.

    Thanks for the THREATS to our country an the disrespect you showed to our newly-elected President lady and gentlemen…

  17. avatar
    Dan Colceriu

    it is definitely stealing! you can’t make some of the people pay and others ( which are keeping the money in cash in seifs or in obscure money-laundry businesses) not to.. EU has values and brags about its innovation, I am sure it can find an alternative..

  18. avatar
    Guille

    I still don’t understand why the EU did nothing to prevent Cyprus’ banking system from getting into this mess, especially now that all newspapers say that most of the country’s deposits are from russian and european oligarchs.

  19. avatar
    Ioannis Koutoudis

    It is stealing!!!
    Stealing in order to pay the banks’ mismanagement and the governments’ s failure to control the free market, as The Great Depression 1929 tought us goverments should do.

    Change the world’s financial system. That’s what works wrong!

    Some say that part of the money in Cypriot banks is illegal.
    Find it and take it. Arrest the people who laundered it.
    You’ll have every EU citizen’s blessing to do that.
    But cutting all the deposits? No!

    Why the legal deposits should be cut (stealed)?

    If it is the only solution, it is an unfair one and Cyprus has the right to not choose it and ask Russia forhelp.

  20. avatar
    Malcolm Seychell

    Europe is simply turning in the old USSR… The traitors who are leading us should all end up in jail for life

  21. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    As I said before, the Europeans have only themselves to blame for this financial crises in Cyprus, that is entirely made, primarily in London and Ankara, with Berlin and Brussels hiding behind the anti European behaviour of both Britain and Turkey. Bring on a EU Defense Force to protect the Euro, because as can be seen at present , Turkey and Britain are doing a great job at demolishing the foundations of the Euro. The Crisis in Cyprus is a result of the flawed policies of the European Union. This crises has been brought about by the absence of an EU Defense Force and the the absence of an effective economic transfer union endorsed by the Swiss like Germans and perpertrated by the terrible Turks. How much longer will the European Union maintain a Swiss stance towards the violating Turkish military.

  22. avatar
    DIONELIS kallistratos

    The question is incomplete. it should not ask just: “Should Cyprus tax people’s bank savings?” The full question is: “Should Cyprus tax people’s bank savings or should…?”
    As long as the missing part of the full question in (…) remains unknown, then whatever answer provided is just for “societal consumption”.
    There is a debt to be paid. This is the existing order in a well functioning system where unfortunately markets (jungle) and societies (humansism) don’t always share the same basic principles

  23. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    It’s not just stealing, it’s robbing. This is not solidarity, neither parity nor egalitarianism. It’s the worst kind of blackmale to a friend and an allay. “Die slowly or kill yourself”. These bureaucrats in Brussels they are not only crooks, they must have low IQ too…

  24. avatar
    lyubomir vachev

    Dear Ulrike, Dear van Rompoy We very well understand the problem why EU union closed the banks in cyprus its unfair and not profesional Hellenic bank and coop banks why they are closed why you EU union create a such a chaos in this days the correct way is just close the banks which having a lots of problems with the exposure and leave the rest to work such a chaos is here now no food on the shelfs and pharmacy pills are still in customs in limassol Please take action and dont allowed such a chaos in such a beautiful country like Cyprus.

  25. avatar
    Dennis Baltzis

    My opinion is that to tax the people’s saving is a wrong measure. First of all it’s against the spirit of EU and of the liberal economy which is a principle. EU must work under co-operation and as long as there isn’t any tries for a political union rather than a monetary one financial problems will arise from time to time and the solution will be less democracy.

  26. avatar
    catherine benning

    This has to be the question of a madman. What you are asking is, is theft of our European citizens agreeable to you. No, it isn’t, it’s fraud. And they jail people for that.

    The absolute audacity of this act suggests panic and total immorality. Where you should be looking to confiscate money is from those who plundered it in the first place, the financiers who award themselves billion of Euros in bonuses. Start there if you want to play the pirate game. See how you get away with that.

  27. avatar
    Elena Zomeni

    Is this eu solidarity folks? Skip the propaganda, we ordinary Cypriots are not bankers not investors not filthy rich and we do not have Russian friends! We work to make a living and U are messing up our lives…. U are bullying us. Stop it ! This is unfair and unacceptable. Today it is us….tomorrow it might be u. Think about it!!!! Europe for its citizens? Really? I do not think so! Unfortunately…..sad and extremely insulting ! Real robbery stealing and hitting below the belt….Shame….

  28. avatar
    aucun

    Yes deposits in Cyprus belong to Russian oligarchs, which I guess is not the case with half of London’s real estate, or deposits in Luxembourg, Monaco, Lichtenstein. And I bet money in the BVI, Marshall Islands, Channel Islands is pure and clean and belongs to Franciscan monks.

    The German taxpayer is a super-natural being which has to be protected by all means, this is where it all boils down within the cumbersome bureaucracy that used to be called a “Union”. A very attractive place to be indeed, when things go well, unless the dirt his the fan, in which case you’re all alone. Solidarity no doubt.

    Anyone else want to join?

  29. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    German law firms sends these days to Cypriots depositers fax, where they ask them to remove their money to certain German Banks with good intrest. I call this grave robbing and our German Friends crows. How you can call them? After all nothing seems to happened accidently…

  30. avatar
    Kurt Koenig

    Well… You are discussing wrongly. Not Merkel or Schuble did wrong in Cyprus. If Putin is nervous… something is wrong with the investments / savings on Cyprus. What interest would RUSSIA have there??
    See, they send YUKOS boss to prison for tax fraud… and Putin has his money there … you do not think he paid his tax … do you?
    The Euro is OK… It is used as a woodoo by some people… but this is not legimate.

  31. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Luxemburg doesn’t produce anything. But they have the biggest middle salary in Eurozone (not Eu). Why’s that? Because they have a huge banking system 9 times of their national product. It’s the biggest launtry in Europe. Of course they clean the “good” black German money and not the “bad” Russian. Shall they minimise their banking sector from 9 to 3,5 times of their national product?

  32. avatar
    Marios

    I believe that beside the irresponsibility of the politicians and bankers who are total useless in Cyprus. the European union is very strict because they want to have a share in our national wealth, and plus they are leading by turkey to push for the solve of Cyprus problem on their benefit aiming for the national wealth as well. 10-17 billion for E.E is nothing, is only 0.18% of the GNP, why they want to drawn another European partner? This is a disgrace. this is not Europe, is STEALING. My country now is in the middle of an unfair economic war declared by Germany and their partner, because of the Russian funding in Cyprus cause they don’t accept how a small country is dealing with billion of money and they don’t, and they scared if after 5-10 years Cyprus will be a very economical colossus player in Europe with the OIL and GAS .

  33. avatar
    effie

    Dear Madam,

    As a european citizen i believe that this situation is unacceptable for a state of the european union. What i mean by that is how europe did not prevent the financial crisis in cyprus taking paradigms from other mediterannean countries like greece, portugal, spain etc. i do not want to believe that as country we so much unprepared to face local problems and address global challenges. as far as concern taxation of people’s savings either way they are going to pay so i think it should be imposed some taxes above some volume of money i.e. above 150.000 euro
    with respet
    a european citizen

  34. avatar
    Chris Morrison

    I am the chap whose comment started this debate. The Polish MEP is missing the point entirely. He seems to be saying that since some of the money comes from people he doesnt like then it is ok to take it. That with all due respect to him is neither sensible or just. Suppose I do not like the man nextdoor. Even if there is some good reason not to like him, that doesnt entitle me to take his car. Whatever you may think of Russians or oligarchs, their money is theirs just as yours is yours. If theychabe come by it wrongly, the courts are open for that sort of dispute to be sorted out. If not, then the right to private property has to be respected. And this kind of looting completely undermines that fundamental right we all should enjoy and government ought to protect, not the opposite.

  35. avatar
    Kamil Ozsoy

    Cyprus’ population is under 1 million, yet they are asking for ?10 billion at this stage (ignoring what they asked earlier and will continue to ask later). That is more than ?10,000 per person in the country. If you’re bankrupt to such an extreme degree, you can’t shamelessly complain about a small tax cut from your savings.

  36. avatar
    Sohnie Nazreen Babar

    Of course it is classed as stealing!! It goes against a basic human right for crying out loud!!
    Normal every day hard working people of Cyprus chose to save their money in banks with hopes of offering their children a better life than what they had, NOT ONLY that but to feel economically secure. Through hard work they saved THEIR money. Why should the middle class individual be bullied into solving a problem they did not cause.
    If they can demand such terms upon one country what is going to hold them back from imposing them upon another? Our so called leaders, leaders who we as Europeans should naturally look up to
    and put our trust in to have proved themselves to be nothing more than money hungry bullies.
    The EU is collapsing and its time for other countries to seriously think of pulling out of the eurozone!
    Just as Nigel Farage said earlier “The Eurozone is now run by people who don’t respect democracy, who don’t respect the rule of law, who don’t respect the basic principles upon which western civilization is supposed to be based. By propping up a Eurozone which in the end is going to collapse in disastrous failure. and they are prepared to do anything to do so. I think this decision, this German dominated decision is the WORST decision we’ve seen so far in this whole Eurozone crisis”
    Sadly the Eurozone is run by bloodsuckers and loan sharks!!

  37. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Sorry mr Kamil but you are missing the point. The problem isn’t just that some people will lose some money, but that with this way the banking system will destroy because everyone will draw his money. This idea is the most ridiculous they could have. That make me conclude that in Brussels they are either idiots or economic gangsters. Either way they are dangerous! They’ll destroy not only Cyprus but EU too

  38. avatar
    Albert Saxén

    Tis is totally stupid. We saw, them ‘settle’, on who to tax. Great, so there we see that it’s not really about principles, (who to tax, etc.) but, how to amass the money.
    At this point, it becomes theft. If taking x% is not theft , at what pt does it then become that?

  39. avatar
    Kamil Ozsoy

    Threatening destroying EU is an attempt of Cypriots (Greeks) to run away from responsibility. At this stage, people are scared and they will withdraw their money in any case. You are declining paying a small price for your mistakes and asking Europeans to pay for it. Why should they pay the price? I understand that it’s not at all a pleasant situation but nobody else is to blame but yourselves.

  40. avatar
    Marcel

    First, bond holders and stock holders need to be taking the losses. Then, the local politicians should themselves be taxed to the hilt. And if IMF/EU think its oh so important, they can agree to tax themselves (start with Barroso and Lagarde).

    Touching deposits is not acceptable under any circumstances. If someone thinks some deposit is ill gotten gains, go to court, prove it and then seize it.

    The most amazing thing is the duality we get from Brussels. On one hand they say ‘do not panic, Cyprus is so small’ and on the other hand they themselves are seen to be panicking.
    I suppose they realize the financial system of the western world is unsustainable and have chosen to try and keep the illusion up for another bit.

    That was the Cyprus bit. Now for the Euro bit. Isn’t it time we stopped impoverishing millions and driving them into unemployment, all to protect hedge funds, bond holders, the rich and bankers bonuses?

    It is time to establish who exactly did and who didn’t benefit from the Euro. On first glance, I’m willing to say that the elites benefitted, maybe the upper middle class did also. I am convinced however the majority (middle class, lower middle class, the poor) did not benefit. Let’s find this out.

  41. avatar
    Marcel

    On a side note: for the life of me I do not understand why Cyprus and particularly Greece haven’t exited the Euro yet. I can hardly think of a single scenario in which they would be worse off for doing so?

    Is it really so important for a handful of politicians to cling on to the failed ‘project’ so desperately that they are willing to impoverish their own peoples in order to keep getting pats on the back from Brussels?

  42. avatar
    Dr George Yiannitsiotis

    Confiscating (“taxing”) bank savings brings the banking system well back to 1932 when President Roosvelt introduced the measure guaranteeing the savings of the US citizens. Irrespectively of moral concerns (should it be fair or just to confiscate part of other people’s property), this proposal blows up the trust between the citizens and the banks; therefore, it hits directly the core raison-d’etre of the “European Union” (namely, the West European Usurers Corporation led by the 4th Reich and its puppet arch-usurer ECB).

    The narrow-minded policy-makers in Berlin and their servants in Brussels underestimated the reaction of the people; they thought that newly elected President Anastassiades would have passed the authority to the Troica as former PM George Papandrew did in Greece in 2010. However, this proved to be a grave miscalculation since the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus are strongly against neocolonialism (they got rid of their colonial master just half a century ago).

    Now, the 4th Reich and the other members of the gang have only one option left: to sit and watch the developments in Cyprus where Russia, Israel and the USA have the last word along with the Cypriot Orthodox Curch (significant local economic factor).
    Maybe, by next Tuesday, Cyprus be the first euromark member state to turn its back to the 4th Reich walking away in dignity, preserving the values of DEMOCRACY and basic HUMAN RIGHTS that have been already violated in the case of Greece (Referendum? Verbotten by Gauleiter Merkel two years ago – overtaxation on property leading to defacto deprivation of the right to private property). The trully DEMOCRATIC society of ICELAND shows the path; time to get rid of the totalitarian regime of the West European Usurers Corporation (disguised as “European” “Union”).-

  43. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    My friend Kamil your obvious hate against the Cypriots, as a Turk, doesn’t let you see things clearly. First of all no European citizen pays a dime for the Cypriots. These money aren’t a gift. These are a loan with good intrest. That meens that Germany for instand will have a good profit. Secondly this loan isn’t only for the resque of Cyprus but for the common coin too. And in the end the demend fot the diposits haircut it has target to destroy the banking system in Cyprus (and finally the Cyprus) so the German and Luxemburgian banks will take the Russian customers and in a second time they are looking at the Cyprian Natural Gass. Think why Cyprus has to minimise its banking system and Luxemburg hasn’t, although their banking sector is much bigger?

  44. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Is it a coincidence that the first name of Schaeuble is Wolfgang (= wolf gang)??? I start to believe that nothing in life is accidental!

  45. avatar
    Iliya Aleksov

    loans are devils work. they should handle them selfs… maybe hard but will not be turned into a slave country!

  46. avatar
    Paul Odtaa

    Overview

    To penalise savers, particularly small savers, is almost certainly going to cause problems in other eurozone countries and could threaten the entire euro project.

    It is not wise to try and sort out the tax haven status now – it requires a lot more thought and planning. The bad publicity gained in the world media has probably already cost Europe more in loss of financial reputation than the cost of a bailout.

    There is an easy fix of the problem – lend the 10 billion or so euros against the Cypriot gas reserves. Help Cyprus move away from its dependency on its banking sector to a wider economy funded by the gas revenues.

    I think there are a number of points to this issue:

    1) Taxing the savings of depositors.

    If Cyprus is forced, by the EU – as part of a deal, to tax, take a percentage, steal a proportion of the savers deposits then they are putting the euro at risk.

    If I was in Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal I would be taking my money out and looking for somewhere safer to put it. In reality I would consider it even in other eurozone countries as there is a danger of contagion.

    I suspect that there will be many more panics and runs on banks – which in turn will lead to the need for more and more bailouts. At some stage the bailout will not come in time and if the country is big, say Spain, then the eurozone could break down.

    2) I would argue that all depositors be protected. Even those with ‘dodgy’ money as the importance of maintaining confidence in the eurozone banking system is paramount.

    3) It was stupid to even consider forcing Cyprus to tax those with deposits of under 100,000 euros – Someone important from the EU should be shouting loudly that SMALL DEPOSITORS IN THE EUROZONE ARE PROTECTED – and they should be shouting it today.

    Allowing this threat to hang over the heads of small depositors and then allowing the publicity of queues of people desperately getting any money out of their accounts – seeing the fact that Cyprus is now just a cash economy – all on the world’s media is short sighted and is costing the eurozone more billions in lack of world financial confidence than those billions that could be loaned.

    4) An easy solution – Lend the 10 billion to Cyprus in return a substantial cut of the rights to their gas reserves. In the long term this easily solves the problem and secures the reserves for Europe – rather than Russia or China. I note today that gas tankers on route to Europe have been diverted to Asia as the wholesale price, manipulated by speculators, is much higher.

    5) Tackle the bad money problem in Cyprus

    Many of the deposits are from dubious sources. Most of it from the sorry period in Russia where the ogliarchs were exploiting the privatisation of the Russian state.

    This is an event that has passed and gone and according the UK press the really dodgy money has been removed from Cyprus in anticipation of banking crisis in the country.

    The EU should have tackled this problem a long time ago and not using the current crisis to bully Cyprus now. The reforms require thought and long term planning.

    Part of the rescue deal should be that Cyprus needs to tighten up its banking sector to be more in line with eurozone standards. There should be much more work done to tackle tax havens in general.

    6) There needs to be far more financial integration in the eurozone

    This should include controls on the banking sector and particularly a separation of retail banks and speculative casino investment banks.

    It should be that a speculative bank or hedge fund just goes out of business and those investing in such projects should lose their cash.

    Retail banks should be better regulated so that they do not over commit to such sectors as housing, which is what brought down the Spanish and Irish economies.

    To conclude

    To penalise savers, particularly small savers, is almost certainly going to cause problems in other eurozone countries and could threaten the entire euro project.

    It is not wise to try and sort out the tax haven status now – it requires a lot more thought and planning. The bad publicity gained in the world media has probably already cost Europe more in loss of financial reputation than the cost of a bailout.

    There is an easy fix of the problem – lend the 10 billion or so euros against the Cypriot gas reserves. Help Cyprus move away from its dependency on its banking sector to a wider economy funded by the gas revenues.

  47. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Let`s have in mind that Cyprus banks were actually bullied by the ECB and the EU to buy Greek debt… And now the bullyboys want the money of the ordinary honest people of the island. In the same way Italy was bullied to by spanish debt… The whole policy is insane and drives me crazy! AAArghhhhhhhh!

  48. avatar
    Eoin McCarthy

    Cyprus should tax people’s bank savings on the basis that this country has long been regarded as a convenient money laundering centre for the Russian underworld. This is a bone of contention with the Germans regarding any potential bailout and explains their willingness to hit Russian investors in this country. Russian nationals have more than 20% of the total deposits in the country’s financial services sector. Does this statistic not prove that Cyprus is Moscow’s problem and not Frankfurt’s problem? What will happen if Spain and Italy go do the same road as Cyprus? The German taxpayer cannot be expected and do not have the financial reserves to bail out these larger countries.

  49. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Os partidos e os governos da UE tm que se adaptar aos novos desafios do novo mundo que est para chegar e prpia Europa nova que vem ai necessriamente

  50. avatar
    Eoin McCarthy

    Europeans citizens fund the EU through their taxes and yet this institution wants to “steal” the savings of citizens in Cyprus. How would people in Spain or Italy react to the suggestion that their “savings” should be taxed in order to bail them out from any potential worsening of their economic problems in terms of unemployment or debt default in the future? Do EU officials in Frankfurt or Brussels perceive smaller EU countries i.e. Cyprus as easy targets when it comes to “stealing” their savings as part of a bail out deal? What would happen if Spain and Italy go do the same road as Cyprus? The German taxpayer cannot be expected to bail out every country in the EU that experiences potential bankruptcy. A leading EU official described the EU as “sexy”, talk is cheap! There is nothing “sexy” about being informed that you are being made redundant or that you have to lose the family home as you are unable to repay the mortgage. Although the Euro zone is in a direr economic crisis, there is a more serious SOCIAL CRISIS with high unemployment rates especially in Spain and Ireland, let’s not mention the potential debt crisis in Italy. Being long term unemployed cannot be good for a person’s mental health!

  51. avatar
    Eoin MacCárthaigh

    Europeans citizens fund the EU through their taxes and yet this institution wants to ?steal? the savings of citizens in Cyprus. How would people in Spain or Italy react to the suggestion that their ?savings? should be taxed in order to bail them out from any potential worsening of their economic problems in terms of unemployment or debt default in the future? Do EU officials in Frankfurt or Brussels perceive smaller EU countries i.e. Cyprus as easy targets when it comes to ?stealing? their savings as part of a bail out deal? What would happen if Spain and Italy go do the same road as Cyprus? The German taxpayer cannot be expected to bail out every country in the EU that experiences potential bankruptcy. A leading EU official described the EU as ?sexy?, talk is cheap! There is nothing ?sexy? about being informed that you are being made redundant or that you have to lose the family home as you are unable to repay the mortgage. Although the Euro zone is in a direr economic crisis, there is a more serious SOCIAL CRISIS with high unemployment rates especially in Spain and Ireland, let?s not mention the potential debt crisis in Italy. Being long term unemployed cannot be good for a person?s mental health! Will Russia send Cyprus a blank cheque signed “From Russia with Love?”

  52. avatar
    Colin adams

    Consider this.
    The Cypriot economy depends on visitors of many nationalities to come and spend money and open bank accounts. So far, so easy to understand.
    It is a nation of under 800,000 people, which is a size smaller than many European cities.
    It funds a National Airline in a market awash with no frills airlines, so operates at a loss, subsidised by the Cypriot tax payer.
    The Cypriot tax payer is a very rarely seen person. Tax evasion/avoidance is a major cottage industry in Cyprus – I state this from the evidence of visiting the island more than once every year on average for 25 years.
    Cyprus was given many financial benefits on joining (and before joining) the EU in the form of investment in dams, motorway system, new island wide bus services.
    What they need to do is to sell off their airline, or close it down, increase their taxes on things such as alcohol and tobacco, into line with mainline European prices, as that is a way where tax will be taken on purchases rather than sales, and overhaul (shouldn’t be that difficult with under 500,000 working people – or less) their PAYE system.
    I have a UK bank account and I know that my deposit is only guaranteed to £85 K or Eu. 100 K. Consequently, if I acquire more than that sum, I should open a further bank account with a non-related provider, to spread my guarantee wider.
    It’s a no-brainer.
    In the UK there are those who avoid tax by paying “cash in hand”, but it is a small percentage as the bulk of taxes are raised and paid. In Cyprus, they have an Olympic gold medal in avoidance and that must change.
    That mentality must change everywhere in Europe, Spain, Portugal, Italy…..all countries where “black money” is prevalent.
    Am I being naive ? If I am, then the Euro experiment will fail. We will have anarchy.
    +++++

  53. avatar
    Darius Mikulenas

    This is a rather interesting discussion, but misguided in many instances.
    Firstly, let us realize – the proposed levy is not stealing. How so? Please ask yourselves this: “where does the money comes from to bail out the EU states?”. The bailouts consist of contributions by states, not just the money made by ECB from its loans, which in turn comes from the national budget and thus the tax-payers money. The people of the EU member states are bailing out the EU! However if we follow the logic of some of the commentators, can we then not term all the borrowing countries as thieves? After all, they are taking out money out of our pockets. Personally, I think it is unacceptable to term them thieves, because in return for the funding they have enacted heavy, complicated, and very painful austerity measures and took on large debts.

    So tell me please, why is it that tax payers in other countries (often unwillingly) pay to pull countries out of the depths of overspending and inefficient financial management and Cyprus wants to stay immune? Where is this solidarity i hear of in the above comments?

    Granted, savings under 100.000 euros are not to be touched. These are the savings of honest people, who are hard-working citizens and who deserve better. However let us not lull ourselves in to believing that savings over that sum contain vast numbers (if any at all) of honest savers. Cyprus is a tax haven – fact.

    It became such under governments elected in a democratic fashion, thus elected by the people. It was the decision of the people to let these individuals rule and it is the responsibility of those people to not only pitch in to fix the situation but also to hold each and every of those politicians accountable. Cyprus’ baking system has been partially built on and maintained by illegal money, that cannot be accessed without national government’s involvement to check for tax evasion, but the national government is unlikely to budge because it enjoys when investments flow in freely. However the repercussions of such behavior have arrived. The blame is not with EU, the blame is with Cyprus.

    As a mini response to Γρηγοράκης Σ., if you want to put a warrant on anyone’s head, it should be the government’s. They were acting under the illusion that such a corrupt system can be sustained and it will not crumble any time soon (at least not during their tenure, similarly to Luis XV and his “After me, come deluge” quote).

    The accounts hit by the levy will not be of Cypriots, but of tax evaders. Russian investors have nearly 40% off all the funds in Cyprus banks’. Cypriots have the other 60% but they are far more numerous, but their funds are much smaller. I do not believe that the levy will hit those who are vulnerable.

  54. avatar
    Tried

    It has highlighted the one of problems faced by a common market system, had we stayed with our own currencies Cypress I imagine would not have this problem with its finances?

  55. avatar
    Francois d

    I don’t understand why so many comments here blame the EU or Germany for stealing, The cypriot governement has ben elected by the cypriots, therefore they are responsible for it’s actions, hence the mismanagement of it’s economy; And whereas the labour costs in germany dropped (in relation with the inflation) over the past 10 years, they rose significantly in southern europe:

    http://varoufakis.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/unit-labour-costs-in-germany-and-the-periphery.png

    Now, some persons blame Germany to steal southern europe, whereas germany was the country that made an effort during the last decade…
    and now pays for the other countries

    I mean imagine your neighbour had been spent all his money whereas you saved yours; and now he asks you to pay his debt; would you accept? Thats what’s currently happening in the eurozone, so stop blaming germany or brussels, I agree only austerity won’t resolve the crisis, but it is necessary to make southern europe more competitive.

    Concerning the taxation of the bank deposits, I think that instead of taking the money of honest people, they should rather take it from all the ‘illegal’ russian bank deposits, because Cyprus is a tax haven.

    (sorry for my bad english ;) )

  56. avatar
    Filipa Tavares

    I don’t understand the logic of this tax on deposits. If the aim is to avoid mondey laudering, the problem could of been tackled sooner. This creates great turmoil and unsafety for european citizens.

  57. avatar
    Colin Adams

    Francois d is correct in her example.
    Sadly, the current generation of “business people” are of low calibre.
    In fact, right across the cultural spectrum, people are of low calibre.
    I know that it is human nature to “take shortcuts” however there are too many shortcuts taken by people in general, shortcuts in things such as tax returns, speeding on roads, jumping red lights, parking in disabled spaces, basically just being selfish……run this concept up the scale, to the bankers, and if they can get away with it, people will do it.
    This may be down to the speed of modern life, however if we don’t have rules and guidelines we might as well go back to caveman way of life.
    So, don’t speed, don’t use bus lanes (unless you’re driving a bus of course) abide by the rules and maybe we can all live happily ever after.
    The problem is, once someone is seen to be getting away with it, the other people who abide by the rules just give in and say “they did it, so I’m doing it too” and who can blame them. (which is exactly what happened with the UK MP’s and their expense account scandals)
    Result ? Anarchy. Let’s solve it !
    +++++

  58. avatar
    Stefan Stoica

    The policy of the 4 German Reich led by Mrs. Merkel, destroyed ECONOMIC Romania, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy and now CYPRUS

  59. avatar
    Limbidis Adrian

    This tax won’t work, what we DO need is several measures:
    1) tax everything above 100,000 euros by 90% ( 90 eurocents of every euro you earn over 100,000 goes to the state not to your pocket )
    In the 1930s USA paid this – that is how they funded their New Deal that got them out of the crisis then. And it didn’t “ruin the economy” QUITE THE CONTRARY !
    2) Freeze all assets of those who travel abroad /change citizenship
    3) limit the amount of money you can take with you out of the country to 50,000 euros
    That way we can avoid another DePardieu who shamelessly abandoned his country for MONEY !

    And finally RAISE social wellfare and DROP taxes. This is called keynesian economics!
    People have more money to SPEND => consumption rises => demand gets more jobs => more jobs gets more people to work and so on!
    Why isn’t the EU doing this !?

    Austerity is death !

  60. avatar
    Stavros Kaniklides

    Every European fundamental principle and Rights and declarations have been violated in Cyprus. I really wonder if this is the European dream mission and vision, honestly to my understanding there is no uniformity, it only serves only huge economic interests, and there is no future to the rest of the countries in particular to the South Europe. Imagine in one single day to become the poorest human on this planet. The fanny issue of the decision makers they say Sorry to a dead human body (whole country Cyprus) it?s really big Joke to believe any more to declarations. Proven results ask CYPRUS

  61. avatar
    AlbertJDwane

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