Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cyprus – Is the European Union opening Pandora’s Box?

Are we witnessing the slow death of the European Union? Have the repeatedly failing EU policymakers finally opened Pandora’s Box with their recent proposal for Cyprus?

Why are some European member states taking actions that are catastrophic for the European sentiment?

Aren’t all citizens of the EU equal under the European law?

What a blunder! What a gaffe! Because it is a serious blunder and a gaffe when the EU is blackmailing the government of one of its member states, Cyprus – to confiscate the deposits that rightfully belong to EU ordinary citizens and others alike! Depositors that trusted the written and unwritten laws that the European Union inspired or used to inspire...

Could such action ever affect the European Financial Crisis positively?

Cyprus never had a problem with earlier “blunders” caused by EU policy... The Cyprus banking sector is indeed quite large but it was in solid state up until the one-sided decisions of some European governments caused many billions of losses to banks through the haircut imposed on Greek sovereign debt and elsewhere within the EU...

All EU member states must in concert find a solution for the EU as a whole instead of shifting the damage to one member state or another... The crisis of the Euro area is systemic! Decisions taken by the strongest countries in the EU have spread misery sequentially to citizens in Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and now Cyprus. This is not going to end if they, the strongest countries, keep on handling the crisis in such manner. The EU has to enforce a decision making process where the European governments are asked to care for all their citizens. The inability of the EU to take care of its citizens wholly led to the failure of the EU... clearly seen these days by the way the EU has handled the Cyprus financial issue...

Is a Cyprus-like incursion on people’s savings unlikely to happen anywhere else in the EU?

This inconceivable way of blackmailing the government of Cyprus to confiscate the deposits is sending a clear message: Nobody with deposits in smaller countries, such is Luxembourg for instance, should feel safe with her or his deposits; nobody with deposits in a weaker financially country, such is Spain, should feel safe about her or his deposits either...

Whatever happens, the Cyprus story teaches important lessons for every European and not only economy: Austerity has failed!

A most valid question which if we answer yes to transforms into an oxymoron: Are the people that led Europe into this mess the right ones to lead Europe out of it?

Praying that there will be no bank runs across Europe...

It just does not make any sense...

You would expect that finance Ministers across Europe to have known better...

How could countries like, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Slovenia ever boost growth with no money? With lending rates continuously dropping how can any country even have growth?

One thing is for sure: Decisions like this one about Cyprus or about the haircut of the Greek debt benefit in essence some countries... it can be very easily observed from the markets that such decisions reduce the financing cost of the German government... the German government can now borrow at negative rates... while it inflicts pain and misery on other countries... not everyone is equal under the European law!

Moreover, Germany is quick to scold the citizens of other countries for the actions of its own government officials and bankers; actions which Germany tolerated and even encouraged for years... enjoying a large market for its manufacturing products, while exerting enormous financial leverage over other EU member states... its economic missteps have gone unnoticed and so has its profit-taking from its EU partners...

Only an ignorant should not worry that the total failure of the European Union is around the corner...

The European Central Bank has also been quite unclear on its position... and it was the vehicle to blackmailing the Cyprus government... thus contributing to say the least to the mess that the EU is now into...

In order for the EU to “work”, the EU needs to form a banking union (as per the European Council’s decision of June 2012) which primarily means that all member states should have a common credible deposit insurance guarantee; a guarantee that shall apply to everybody in the Euro Area! Now the EU or better the strongest states, members of the EU, made a mockery of it, sending clearly the message that that they do not want to be part of such a decision, a decision that they so much preached about and advocated for less than a year ago...

Those in the EU that use blackmail as a mean to their own benefit should think again... Is it the right way towards a better EU to demand confiscation of somebody’s deposits? It is not! And notions of recalibrating the amounts to be seized or better stolen from depositors are not a solution either! The EU as a whole should take responsibility! And remember this is more about Europe than about Cyprus!

Think!

Is it just about the Russian money deposited in Cyprus? Funny, the EU did not feel that way two decades ago, even a few years ago...

Is it just a Germany-led propaganda which argues that the Cyprus depositor is aimed at Russian oligarchs who evade taxes? But it targets ordinary Cypriots nearly as much as it targets high depositors and somehow it doesn’t matter if it’s the life savings of a middle-class family...

Is it just about the deposits of non-residents? Only very recently the IMF and the EU stated in their reports about Cyprus that supervision of international and local commercial banks in Cyprus are more than competent, progressed over the years to the highest of standards...

Is it just about the recently confirmed and scientifically estimated huge hydrocarbon reserves of Cyprus? A fact by the way that has so strangely been ignored or diminished by the EU and international media...

Could it be that the EU in its effort to save a mere €5.8 billion (the Cyprus “bail-out” money)... is upsetting European confidence and trust... facing possible bank runs... and in essence risking trillions?

Frightening! Scary!

One is for sure: Mattresses are looking a lot more attractive than European banks nowadays...
 
 
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