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Al Jazeera on #Cyprus

Yesterday I took part in Al Jazeera’s The Stream, where we talked about Cyprus. Video conferencing failed me, so I participated via phone. I talked twice. The first question was about who I thought is mostly to blame for the situation in Cyprus. I argued that the Eurozone Ministers of Finance are mostly to blame for making Cyprus a guinea pig case and for destroying one of the two productive sectors of Cyprus overnight. I said that the three days ultimatum that Cyprus was given is nothing short of an extortion and that the ‘deposits haircut’ is actually a confiscation of already taxed money. Of course, I mentioned that the bankers and the Cypriot governments are also to blame but I stressed that it was the mishandling of Cyprus during the Eurogroup meeting that destroyed the financial sector.

The second question was whether it is fair for the German tax payer to pay for Cyprus. I responded saying that the German tax payer is actually not paying for Cyprus, hinting that Germany is going to make profit out of it. I also said that the money leaving Cyprus will go to other European countries. Moreover, I mentioned that Merkel is benefitting politically from Cyprus since she uses it as part of her election campaign. Cyprus is sacrificed so that Merkel can demonstrate to the German people how strong she is and how determined she is to protect them from paying for other people’s mistakes (as the misconception goes).

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