With fury in Cyprus that large account holders in the country’s banks could face 80-100 percent losses and see their money confiscated by the government to meet demands of international lenders and trigger a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) bailout, newly-elected conservative President Nicos Anastasiades said there will be an investigation into how the banks caused the crisis.
Anastasiades, who broke a month-old campaign vow to reject the confiscation tax plan, scheduled a Cabinet meeting for March 28 and appoint an investigator or commission to determine any criminal, moral or administrative responsibility, or uncover cases of incompetence, for the crisis.
“I undertake in the next few days for the cabinet to appoint criminal investigators with a clear term of reference to find and attribute responsibility wherever it belongs,” he said, according to Agence-France-Presse.
Cypriot banks lost 4.5 billion euros ($5.75 billion) in bad loans to Greek businesses who went belly-up in their country’s economic crisis and escaped making payments, and as banks held klarge amounts of Greek bonds that were devalued by 74 percent. No banker has been held accountable.
Cyprus’ Archbishop Chrysostomos said that the Church there will lose more than 100 million euros ($130 million.) “It is not possible for the people to suffer and there not to be consequences … whoever is responsible for getting us in this state should stand in the dock,” he said.
The country’s banks have been closed since March 15 as the government negotiated with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) as there were fears of a bank run. The institutions are scheduled to open again on March 28 but will be guarded by security forces.
The powerful Communist-backed opposition party AKEL called for a demonstration the night of March 27 outside the Presidential palace against the bailout deal sealed by Anastasiades. His predecessor, Communist Demetris Christofias, held out for months against the harsh terms of the bailout for the island’s heavily Greece-exposed and bloated banking system with its massive Russian deposits.
The deal will close Cyprus’ second-largest lender Laiki and has devastated the island’s prized banking sector, a mainstay of the economy, and also inflicted huge losses in savings and jobs. Anastasiades is also being accused by critics of kowtowing to Germany, which insisted on the harsh terms.
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