By Jordan Shilton and Chris Marsden
Global Research, March 24, 2013
Cyprus’ fate illustrates how the European Union imposes the dictatorship of the global speculators, banks and corporations on the working class. The EU yesterday continued to demand massive austerity in Cyprus to raise €6 billion ($7.8 billion) in return for a €10 billion bank bailout.
The island country has been the centre of an escalating financial crisis, with its parliament voting Wednesday to reject proposals to raise the necessary funds by taking money from anyone with deposits in Cypriot banks.
A new vote on whether to impose a “haircut” on depositors was delayed until today. The EU and European Central Bank (ECB) dismissed proposals by Cypriot politicians—themselves wholly reactionary—to create a “solidarity fund” to raise the six billion demanded.
Cyprus’s aim was to preserve its financial relations with Russia and force workers to pay the price by nationalising pension funds to pay the debts of the super-rich. Other proposals included seeking contributions from the church and selling gold reserves—all in order to avoid levying a significant one-off levy on major depositors.
However, the EU bluntly dismissed these measures as insufficient. German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared baldly after a parliamentary meeting of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), “We want Cyprus to remain in the euro zone”, but insisted that its “current business model is dead.”
The ECB has insisted that the levy on investors should be re-imposed—this time with a widely-anticipated penalty of 15 percent on depositors with balances over €100,000, as initially rejected by Nicosia. If not, it was made clear that proposals had been discussed to prepare for and limit the impact of a Cypriot exit from the euro zone. (more…)