Today the people of my country were united. We have been attacked by the countries of the Eurozone. We have even been betrayed by the Greeks that many Greek Cypriots naively consider their allies. Today, instead of running to the banks and maximising the damage caused by the European ‘partners’, the Cypriots were civilised and dignified and did not rush to get their money out. The international news agencies surprised from this reaction tried to find something to report. Instead of panic and chaos, they reported the Cypriot determination to survive the attack.
The Eurogroup unelected elites, the Ministers of Finance of the countries of the Eurozone, destroyed the Cypriot economy overnight. In Cyprus we had two productive sectors, tourism and financial services. The unelected European elites decided that it was a good idea to confiscate the taxpayers’ money. That is, they decided to take a slice from the deposits of private individuals – money that were already taxed. This gross violation of human rights has been presented as a ‘tax’ and has been forced upon the Cypriot government which had the option either to accept the deal or to default. If the government did not accept the destructive deal then the liquidity assistance of the European Central Bank would stop. The Cypriots were given a ticking bomb that would go off in 3 days. Every minute after the Eurogroup it was a minute closer to uncontrolled bankruptcy. The Cypriot economy was destroyed the moment our president left the meeting. Investors’ confidence was shuttered and everyone panicked. The financial sector was destroyed overnight. In order to avoid uncontrolled bankruptcy the government had to keep the banks closed.
Today the banks opened after 12 days. The international news agencies expected that Cypriots would run to the banks to get their money out. This is what they call a ‘bank run’. The Cypriots did not do that. Instead they remained calm and united to face the assault of the European ‘partners’ and the assault of the local plutocrats – afterall, it was the Cypriot president that suggested that the state should confiscate the deposits of those with less than €100,000.
Cypriots remained calm all the while news reports explained how they have been robbed – how the upper management of local banks gambled on Greek bonds, how the previous government and the current governor of the Central Bank let the second largest bank create a €9bn debt, how their MPs knew about the state of the economy and did nothing, and how their president went unprepared to the Eurogroup meeting knowing full well that the European elites would request a deposits haircut and gave in to their extortion. They have seen the parliament grant full powers to the local ‘technocrats’ of the Central Bank who follow the instructions of the troika (the ECB, IMF, EC). This enabled the president to accept the (2nd) plan of the troika without taking it through the parliament. This was the same president that a couple of weeks ago reassured people that a deposits haircut was definitely out of the question.
Most importantly, the people of Cyprus have seen the European Union which they have so much idealised over the years, attack their standard of living. They have seen the European partners do a haircut on Greek debt knowing that Cyprus was the most exposed partner that would soon bankrupt if they went on with the haircut. They then saw the European Central Bank give further €9bn to a local failed bank, effectively bringing Cyprus to the edge of destruction. They then witnessed the European ‘partners’ test new models on Cyprus, using the Cypriot people as guinea pigs. They saw the Europeans disregard the fact that Cyprus does not have a National Health Service or any provisions for its elders. They did not consider that the people of Cyprus pay from their own pockets every time they go to the doctor and that they take care of their elders when they can no longer take care of themselves. Instead, they labelled all depositors as investors and put their greedy hands inside their pockets to take out the money that they saved over the course of a lifetime.
Now the people of Cyprus know that they will become impoverished and that their lives will never be the same again. They know that unemployment will rise above 30%, that they will loose their jobs, that they will not be able to send their children to the university and that many of them will lose their houses.
Today the Cypriot people were strong and united. The next years will not be easy but it will not be the first time that Cypriots started over after a simultaneous external and an internal attack. Afterall 1974 is only 39 years ago. Only 39 years since Cypriots of all kinds found themselves homeless after being invaded by Turkey, betrayed by Greece and by locals. Today was hopeful. Cypriots may survive the attack.