Scandal Hits Cyprus
by Stephen Lendman
Looting once thought safe bank accounts are becoming the bailout method of choice.
Grand theft is official Cypriot policy. Bank account haircuts are authorized. Those above 100,000 euros are targeted.
Depositors may lose much more than initially thought. Minimally it's around 40% of their money. It may be double that amount or more. Potentially it's everything.
In return, they'll get unsecured IOUs (promises to pay). They'll be converted to bank shares. They may end up worthless.
Small depositors aren't safe. If enough money isn't raised, they're vulnerable. Once thought safe bank accounts are being looted. It gets worse.
Friends of President Nicos Anastasiades got advance word . Cypriot newspaper Haravgi said A. Loutsios & Sons Ltd wired 21 million euros to London. It did so on March 12 and 13. It was days before capital controls were imposed.
Loutsios & Sons is co-owned by the husband of Anastasiades' daughter. The company denied Haravgi's report. Anastasiades said it "attempt(ed) to defame companies or people linked to my family."
It's "nothing but an attempt to distract people from the liability of those who led the country to a state of bankruptcy."
On March 22, London's Daily Mail headlined "Cypriot president 'warned his friends to move money abroad' before financial crisis hit: Leader under fire as he faces just FOUR DAYS to save country from collapse."
"Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiades 'warned' close friends of the financial crisis about to engulf his country so they could move their money abroad, it was claimed on Friday."
"The respected Cypriot newspaper Filelftheros made the allegation which was picked up eagerly by German media."- Advertisement -
"The Cyprus newspaper did not say how much money was moved abroad but quoted sources saying the president 'knew about the possible closure of the banks' and tipped off close friends who were able to move vast sums abroad."
"Italian media said the 4.5 billion euros left the island in the week before the crisis."
On March 25, Reuters headlined "INSIGHT - Money fled Cyprus as president fumbled bailout," saying: