The Cypriot parliament passed bailout measures today, but they are not quite the measures that Her Highness, Angela Merkel approves. They are not measures Cypriot citizens will approve of either.
Let’s take a look at the present state of blackmail, as passed by Cyprus and reported by the BBC.
MPs in Cyprus have voted to restructure the island’s banks – one of several measures to ease the crisis, which has hit confidence in the eurozone. They have also approved a “national solidarity fund” and capital controls to prevent a bank run. MPs did not vote on a key measure – a levy on large bank deposits. They rejected similar moves on Tuesday.
The “solidarity fund” would allow the pooling of state assets for an emergency bond issue, reports the Reuters news agency. These include future gas revenues and some pension funds – an idea that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly condemned.
Ms Merkel had warned Cyprus not to “exhaust the patience of its eurozone partners”, reports say.
Businesses in Cyprus have been insisting on payment in cash, rejecting card and cheque transactions. “We have pressure from our suppliers who want only cash,” Demos Strouthos, manager of a restaurant in central Nicosia, told AFP news agency.
Our correspondent says he has never seen this much pressure being applied to a member state by the rest of the eurozone community in recent years.
Regrets Pour In
The Financial Times reports Cyprus laments end of way of life
When he was finance minister a decade ago, Takis Klerides helped steer Cyprus into the EU and the single currency, a defining achievement for a once-impoverished island nation that is far closer to Beirut than Brussels.
But on Friday, with Cypriots contemplating the steep price of an EU bailout, Mr Klerides sounded like a man with regrets.
“We found out the hard way that it’s not a family,” he said of the EU, arguing that the bloc’s biggest members “dictate the terms and everyone else falls in line. It’s becoming a dictatorship.”
“The European project is crashing to earth,” Athanasios Orphanides, who until recently served as central bank governor, said in a separate interview in which he dubbed Cyprus’ treatment by European leaders “the bullying of a people”.
Nicos Michaelas, the general manager of an investment company, Demetra Investment, put it even more bluntly: “We expected our European friends to help and they put a gun to our heads.”
Hello Cyprus, Please Meet Reality
Merkel does not give a damn about you, all she cares about is her September reelection prospects and hardball with you helps those chances. But please, don’t take it personal.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock