Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cyprus Is More Than Just An Organized Crime-Infested Island In The Mediterranean Where Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm Sneaks Off Where No One's Looking


Cyprus today-- London and Kenosha tomorrow?

Staten Island Republican Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm is a Mafia operative who has managed to get away with... well, a lot that should have landed him in prison long ago. And in the past, the only mentions of Cyprus on this blog have been about Grimm's involvement with Cypriot criminal activities and his secret trip to that island. Now Cyprus has an even worse visitor than Grimm-- the right wing Austerity has come to tear the country apart.

Next time you hear Ryan, Cantor, Boehner or any of the Austerity fanatics trying to sell you on their roadmap or budget or whatever they're calling it this year, remember how their so-called "liberty" is playing out in every country that adopts the plan. Greece is turning to fascism, Italy and Spain are experiencing chaos in the streets, England is embarking upon the brave new world of a triple dip recession and now Cyprus-- which elected a right-wing, pro-Austerity government last month-- is the latest example of Ayn Rand/Paul Ryan "freedom."
Cypriots reacted with shock that turned to panic on Saturday after a 10% one-off levy on savings was forced on them as part of an extraordinary 10bn euro (£8.7bn) bailout agreed in Brussels.

People rushed to banks and queued at cash machines that refused to release cash as resentment quickly set in. The savers, half of whom are thought to be non-resident Russians, will raise almost €6bn thanks to a deal reached by European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is the first time a bailout has included such a measure and Cyprus is the fifth country after Greece, the Republic of Ireland, Portugal and Spain to turn to the eurozone for financial help during the region's debt crisis. The move in the eurozone's third smallest economy could have repercussions for financially overstretched bigger economies such as Spain and Italy.

People with less than 100,000 euros in their accounts will have to pay a one-time tax of 6.75%, Eurozone officials said, while those with greater sums will lose 9.9%. Without a rescue, president Nicos Anastasiades said Cyprus would default and threaten to unravel investor confidence in the eurozone. The Cypriot leader, who was elected last month on a promise to tackle the country's debt crisis, will make a statement to the nation on Sunday.

...In the coastal town of Larnaca, Cypriots described how they had queued from the early hours in the hope of withdrawing deposits from banks. "A lot of us just can't believe it," said Alexandra Christofi, a divorcee in her 40s who said she had rushed to her bank before doors even opened at 6am. "I had put my money there for a rainy day. It's absolutely all I have and I cannot understand how Cyprus is being singled out. Other EU countries got bailouts and we're only in this position because we supported Greece," she said, referring to the massive losses the Cypriot banking system suffered as a result of Greece's restructuring its debt last year. "Where is the fairness in that? Where is the solidarity and support that is meant to be the reason why we are all unified in this common currency in the first place?"

Maria Zembyla, from Nicosia, said the levy would make a "big dent" in her family's savings and "erode the investor confidence". "It is robbery. People like us have been working for years, saving to pay for our children's studies and pensions and suddenly they steal a big share of this money. Russians that currently keep the economy afloat will leave the country along with their money," she added.

...The levy does not take effect until Tuesday, following a public holiday, but action is being taken to control electronic money transfers over the weekend. Co-operative banks, the only ones open in Cyprus on a Saturday, closed following a run on the credit societies while ATMs cancelled transactions due to "technical issues."

"I wish I was not the minister to do this," Cypriot finance minister Michael Sarris said after Friday's late-night talks in Brussels. "Much more money could have been lost in a bankruptcy of the banking system or indeed of the country."

Depositors started queuing early to withdraw their cash, and protestors gathered outside the presidential palace. "I'm extremely angry. I worked years and years to get it together and now I am losing it on the say-so of the Dutch and the Germans," said British-Cypriot Andy Georgiou, 54, who returned to Cyprus in mid-2012 with his savings.

"They call Sicily the island of the mafia. It's not Sicily, it's Cyprus. This is theft, pure and simple," said a pensioner.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who attended the meeting, said she backed the deal and would ask her board in Washington to contribute to the bailout. "We believe the proposal is sustainable for the Cyprus economy," she said, "The IMF is considering proposing a contribution to the financing of the package. The exact amount is not yet specified."
With the EU demanding an OK from Cyprus immediately, the new government just postponed a scheduled emergency meeting until tomorrow, as more and more lawmakers say they will vote NO. In his sermon today, influential Archbishop Chrysostomos II thundered that "This is a villainy of Europeans. Cyptus must as soon as possible leave the eurozone." Playing the Henry Paulson role in the drama, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades warned that if Parliament doesn't approve the deal Germany is insisting on, Cyprus's two largest banks will collapse. One has to wonder, though, how safe other EU citizens with money in their own banks will feel if Cyprus can just impound the savings of their citizens. Will people in Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Italy start withdrawing cash from their banks? France?
British finance minister George Osborne told the BBC on Sunday that Britain would compensate its 3,500 military personnel based in Cyprus.

Anastasiades's right-wing Democratic Rally party, with 20 seats in the 56-member parliament, needs the support of other factions for the vote to pass. It was unclear whether even his coalition partners, the Democratic Party, would fully support the levy.

Cyprus's Communist party AKEL, accused of stalling on a bailout during its tenure in power until the end of February, would vote against the measure. The socialist Edek party called EU demands "absurd."

"This is unacceptably unfair and we are against it," said Adonis Yiangou of the Greens Party, the smallest in parliament but a potential swing vote.
Today's NY Times called it "legalized robbery" that will hurt savers' confidence in banks. It should be interesting to see how the Russian Mafia-- reputed to be the biggest loser in this deal-- reacts. Although it isn't all Mafia money, Russians have over $25 billion deposited in Cypriot banks. "Now the faith in Cyprus as a place where it is convenient to keep one's money will be undermined," Anatoly Aksakov, president of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. You think?

The Washington Post speculates, and with sound logic, that the mess in Cyprus could turn into another international financial crisis. Iceland let the banksters go bust and then prosecuted them and some of their political allies. It was a great move and worked well for that island country; Cyprus should do the same thing-- though it won't. Below is an amazing video I want to recommend-- all 9 minutes of it:

UPDATE: Cypriot Bank Robbery Isn't As Bad As Bank Of America Banksterism

The NY Times had the question of the day:

Would you have been better off leaving your money in a bank in the United States or in Cyprus over the last five years?

The answer: You would have been better off in Cyprus, even after the bailout, when your money was “confiscated.” If you had 100,000 euros in a Cypriot bank account over the last five years, where the interest rate has averaged about 5 percent, you would have about 127,600 euros today. Even after the bailout, which would require you to give up 10 percent of your deposit-- 12,760 euros-- you would be left with 114,840 euros. The American bank? The $100,000 you deposited at Bank of America five years ago is about $105,100, at the going rate of about 1 percent interest a year.

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At 10:32 AM, Anonymous robert dagg murphy said...

They could also put money in. Now that would make everything work better. No money = bad economy. Lot's of money = good economy.

Nothing is so invisible as the obvious.


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