Angela Merkel blames Cypriots for bankers’ gamblings

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 26, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that the new rescue program for Cyprus is “right” because it forces “those who have caused the problem.” to take “responsibility” for their actions. In saying this Merkel blames the people of Cyprus for the debt incurred into by the very same banks the German leader so strongly attacks publicly but defends in private.

The head of the German government was said to be “satisfied” with the result reached this weekend, after seven days of media controversy, political unrest and turmoil that followed in the stock market and that stopped the conditions of the first bailout from taking place.

The plan as it is now known includes a 40% charge on depositors who may not even see their savings ever again. According to the plan imposed by the European Union, Cyprus will liquidate both the Laiki and Cyprus Banks and has already mandated the confiscation of almost half of the funds in accounts with more than 100,000 euros.

“The result reached is right and puts the onus on those who have created the problem. Way it should be,” Merkel argued in a brief meeting with media in Langenfeld.

She added that she is “happy” that a “fair division of the burden” has been achieved with Cyprus temporarily bribing its way out of a financial collapse by stealing 7,000 million euros from its people, while the European Union supposedly lends the country 10,000 million euros.

“First, banks must take responsibility. On the other, it has become clear that Cyprus can count on the solidarity of the European countries,” said Merkel. The Chancellor said in this regard that the EU will support Nicosia in the “difficult road” ahead. In other words, Merkel sees the Cypriot people as responsible for the banks gambling on behalf of the Mediterranean nation, whose people will now suffer greater pain than those in Greece, for example.

In Cyprus your money is not really yours

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 24, 2013

Banks in Cyprus has imposed a daily limit of cash withdrawal of 100 euros at ATMs, reports Reuters. The measure, advanced by the Laiki Bank, which allowed out until now 260 euros, will now blocking customers from accessing their savings should they decide to withdraw more than 100 euros at a time.

According to some sources, this decision, which hardens the playpen that seeks to prevent a bank run, remains in effect until the banks reopen, which is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, but could even be kept afterwards negotiations between Cyprus and the EU which will continue past Sunday’s meeting (ECB).

The measure has been taken as the Cypriot government is negotiating with the EU, IMF and the troika to obtain a bailout in a parallel meeting at the Eurogroup finance ministers.

In this situation, the Eurogroup will try to close a deal on the Cypriot bailout to avoid financial collapse in the Mediterranean country, whose president, Nikos Anastasiades, negotiated with the leaders of the European institutions and the IMF to pave the way for a consensus.

The Cypriot leader arrived at the headquarters of the European Council at 13.00 GMT from Nicosia to meet with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission (EC) Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso. The purpose of the meeting is to find a path for negotiations that unlock alternative rescue conditions for Cyprus ahead of the meeting of finance ministers of the Eurozone.

Finance ministers from the eurozone try to refine the elements of the rescue plan, which is expected to take intense and long discussions about the pressing needs to close a program before Monday.

The negotiations between Cyprus and the troika -the EC, the ECB and the IMF have moved to Brussels and, after a Saturday night failed attempt to achieve a definitive agreement in Nicosia on an alternative rescue, putting the Eurozone in “a delicate situation and with very little leeway,” according to the Cypriot government.