Vicious Austerity: People of Cyprus on the Verge of Having Money Stolen from Their Bank Accounts on Tuesday
The austerity rollout in Southern Europe continues...this one is pretty unpleasant to watch -- in Cyprus, from Al Jazeera English:
Cyprus' parliament is to hold an extraordinary session to decide whether savers must pay a levy on bank deposits under terms for an international bailout to avoid bankruptcy - amid anger among bank savers who would be hard hit by the plans.
Ministers are in a race to thrash out draft legislation ratifying the bailout and push it through parliament before banks reopen on Tuesday after a long holiday weekend, including a pre-Easter carnival Sunday marred by the news.
It would be the first eurozone bailout in which private depositors would be forced to help foot the bill.
The excuse from the Newly elected Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades? That the island's two largest banks would have collapsed...
Meanwhile, the Al Jazeera article says that ATMS all over Cyprus have been emptied. Cypriots are going to get an explanation from Anastasiades on Sunday. According to the BBC, the new president said the $13 billion bargain was "a painful but controlled management of the crisis."
Painful? It's theft!
"At one bank in the Limassol district, a frustrated man parked his bulldozer outside and threatened to break in," according to the BBC article.
And we got some high comedy from the Finance Minister, courtesy of the Financial Times:
"“I am not happy with this outcome in the sense that I wish I was not the minister that had to do this,” Mr Sarris said. “But I feel that the responsible course of action of a minister that takes an oath to protect the general welfare of the people and the stability of the system did not leave us with any [other] options.”
In the name of general welfare.