The Anonymous Widower

Bank Customers To Share Pain Of Cyprus Bail-Out

The Eurozone and the IMF have agreed a deal to bail out Cyprus to the tune of €10 billion, as is reported here on the BBC.

What is different though in this bail-out, is that bank depositors will also have to take some of the pain. The comment from the BBC correspondent; Andrew Walker is as follows.

It has been a long and difficult negotiation, partly because of the reluctance of other Eurozone countries to use taxpayers’ money to help foreign customers of Cypriot banks. Many of them are wealthy Russians.

There are concerns around Europe about whether all that money was legitimately acquired and also about how effective Cyprus is in dealing with money laundering.

The deal involves a levy on bank deposits intended to ensure those investors contribute to the bailout. But it will apply to all deposits – at a higher rate on amounts above 100,000 euros.

I’m personally not that sorry, that laundered money will be effectively taxed, but it does strike me, that this crisis could get a lot bigger, if the Russians get annoyed.

March 16, 2013 - Posted by | Finance | , , ,


  1. Yes, I can certainly see their point and wouldn’t want to defend money laundering of any kind.

    However, part of Cyprus’s problem is its very high exposure to Greek bank debt.

    Still, with the Russians being involved, the excrement could very soon be hitting the air conditioning!

    Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013 | Reply

    • Later reports are saying that the Russians are loaning money to the Cypriots.

      Comment by AnonW | March 16, 2013 | Reply

      • There will be more to this than meets the eye. What can the Russians be up to?

        Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013

  2. They have a big naval base in Syria. Perhaps, Cyprus would be an alternative.

    But by supporting Cyprus and its failed banks, they’re probably helping to protect the Russian citizens’ money.

    Comment by AnonW | March 16, 2013 | Reply

    • Clever people those Russians – they could have their eye on Cyprus for a naval base. It is geographically closer to north Africa (and to Turkey) than it is to Europe, after all.

      It also makes sense for them to protect Russian money.

      Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013 | Reply

      • It would appear from Wikipedia, that Cyprus had a good naval base that blew up due to incompetence. So if the Russians were to rebuild it, they could probably use it. Do the Russians get on better with the Turks, than the greeks do?

        Comment by AnonW | March 16, 2013

      • Perhaps they do as far as realpolitik goes.

        The Greek attitude towards Turkey is more ambivalent in that the government is friendly and pro Turk but the majority of the Greeks could be said to be rather hostile, and not without reason. For over 400 years the Greeks were subjects of the Ottoman Empire, cruelly treated and downtrodden, cut off from their glorious past and not allowed to develop. Unlike some of the peoples in the area, they were not inclined, in general, to convert to Islam, as most Greeks were (and probably still are) fervently Christian.

        Greeks still commemorate the start of the War of Independence (1821) on 21 March, and revere the great heroes of the War, including Kolokotronis, Bouboulina (a female rebel who financed a fleet from her personal fortune) and the much-revered Athanasios Diakos, who was roasted alive on a spit by the Turks.

        I’m sure you know all this already, but you see that the race memories of the Greeks are long and vivid, full of the injustice and atrocities of the past. There is still the unresolved problem of northern Cyprus, Turkey’s treatment of its Christian minority, its constant infringement of Greek territorial waters and airspace and its unjustified claim to Greek islands. Turkey is still not a good neighbour.
        For a Greek, there isn’t much to like about Turkey and, if the UK had had Greece’s experience with its eastern neighbour, we would no doubt feel the same way.

        Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013

  3. I should have written 25 March, not 21 March, for the Greek War of Independence.
    Sorry about that! I must be getting tired…

    Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013 | Reply

  4. I’ve been to Turkey twice and Greece probably about 10 times. In the 1970s, we drove down to Syros and Crete and so I know the hostility well. I find Turkey one of the most difficult countries for my coeliac diet, whereas most other Islamic countries they can’t do too much to help.

    We also get trouble between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in North London.

    I would be interested how the Turks and Russians get on, Or is it because the Turks are Muslim and the Russians tend to be rather anti-Muslim, they don’t get on too well.

    Comment by AnonW | March 16, 2013 | Reply

    • The Russians, being Orthodox Christians, probably don’t care for Muslims, but the USSR contained many Muslim states, so they had to learn to get along, more or less.
      Mind you, look at the present-day problems between Russia and Chechnya.

      Still, it isn’t the visceral feelings the Greeks have about Turks.

      By the way, my husband, a native of Xanthi in north-eastern Greece, speaks Turkish as he grew up with Muslim neighbours (as most do in that area, although they tend not to intermarry, for religious reasons), but he always says that if you turn your back a Turk will stick a dagger in you and that you can’t trust them further than you could throw them.

      Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013 | Reply

      • A friend of mine was doing training in Southern Russia and didn’t like the way the Russians treated some of the other religions down there. There’s certainly been quite a bit of trouble. Although, she didn’t have any trouble herself. But then she’s Irish.

        Comment by AnonW | March 16, 2013

      • I’m probably sticking my neck out a bit here, but it might not all be on the Russian side. Muslims can be – and often are – extremely troublesome. When they are in the minority, they want special dispensations rarely requested by other minority faith groups (when did you see any Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, or Sikhs etc expect special treatment in the UK?). When they are the majority, they persecute other faith groups (look at the Christians, for example, in the Middle East and Pakistan), as well as atheists, are homophobic and treat women appallingly.

        I know that most Muslims are perfectly reasonable people but their religion teaches that the world is divided into “Dar al-Islam” (the House of Islam) and “Dar al-Harb” (the House of War) and that peace will be brought about only when the whole world belongs to the “umma” of the House of Islam. It is political, polemical and expansionist,

        You may object that all religions do this but they don’t, not even Christianity, which proselytizes but does not polarise and no longer persecutes non-Christians.
        Buddhism (with its lack of a deity) is live-and-let-live, as are Hinduism and Sikhism, and Judaism discourages conversion.

        So the Russians may have more on their hands than they want.

        Feel free to disagree with me about Islam, but I know too much about that religion not to dislike and fear it – not just terrorists and suicide bombers (unknown in any other religion – Buddhist monks immolate only themselves, not take others with them!) but the whole thought system.

        Perhaps atheism is the most sensible option, though.

        Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013

  5. Having been to South America, it’s horrendous, what the Spanish and Portuguese got up to in the name of religion. Have you ever read about the Liberators of South America, who chucked the Spanish and Portuguese out? Fascinating and absolutely brutal history.

    The Muslim religion has got to go back to its original principals, where science was important and women were equal, if it is going to survive.

    Comment by AnonW | March 16, 2013 | Reply

    • I certainly would never defend the conquistadors of South America, any more than I would defend the Spanish Inquisition. However, those crimes were 400 years ago and not the crimes of today. It is necessary to have some historical perspective.

      Science was important in early Islam but women were never equal to men, even though they had some codified rights. If women had been considered equal, Muhammed would not have sanctioned (and practised) polygamy. Neither would he have permitted men to beat their wives, nor required the testimony of 2 women for every man in court (because women cannot be trusted!), nor given women lesser inheritance rights, nor given men more rights to divorce and have custody of underage children. The list goes on and on.
      Equality of the sexes is found nowhere in Islam (neither in Christianity, for that matter, if we read St Paul’s Epistles, although polygamy and beating one’s wife are never permitted).

      Islam will survive, mainly because it is a religion forced on people and apostasy means death, and because of the high birth rates in Islamic countries. Indeed, as it is an aggressive and expansive religion, it will positively thrive.

      It is the rest of the world which may not survive!

      Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 16, 2013 | Reply

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