Cyprus? Let’s see…, a 2-week old government that cut a deal with the troika. A little over a week later, the Finance minister responsible for the deal has resigned and president Anastasiades’ son in law stands accused of transferring €21 million out of Laiki Bank to a UK bank one week prior to the deal (along with at least 100 other well connected savers).
Less than a week after the bailout deal was announced, Cyprus was handed extra time to implement the deal’s measures, and depositors are cut for much higher percentages than “estimated”. This is a set pattern, not an unfortunate course of events. It’s like Groucho’s line: “These are my principles!. And if you don’t like them, I have others…”. Turns out, the entire deal was a con game from the get go, and the entire eurozone is well on its way there too.
The IMF “gives” €1 billion because Cyprus has such a great set of economic “reform” measures, i.e. fire who you can, cut pensions and benefits where you can, raise taxes and sell your most valuable public assets. Cypriots have no idea what’s going to hit them. Oh, and the president announced that a casino will be opened soon.
Michalis Sarris, the Finance minister who brokered the troika deal and resigned, had a 30-odd year career at World Bank, and has an earlier term in the same post from September 2005 till March 2008. He was also a longtime non-executive chairman at Laiki Bank during the time it made the investments that brought it down, and became more actively involved at the bank in 2012 to “cleanse” it in order to comply with the troika bailout. Either a man who knows how to get the job done or a man who raises a few suspicions, take your pick.