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Cyprus haircut an experiment: says Anastasiades

23 April 2013

President Anastasiades has claimed that South Cyprus was treated as an experimental guinea-pig, “irrespective of the fact that there was reckless management by the banks affected and ineffective prudential supervision of the banking system in general.”

He also expressed the hope the Cyprus precedent “is not going to be applied elsewhere in Europe, although, as it is well known, the main ‘raison d’etre’ of a precedent is that it can serve the purpose of establishing norms and guidelines to be repeatedly and universally applied.”

Anastasiades said that during all his extensive contacts with his EU counterparts and high-level officials of the EU institutions before the Eurogroup agreement, which imposed a haircut on bank deposits, he had conveyed a clear message that Cyprus was not asking for special treatment, but expected a just and fair treatment, based on the same terms and conditions applied to all other EU partners in need, and that “we are requesting simply what we are entitled [to]: solidarity.”

 “Regrettably, this fundamental EU principle was not respected. On the contrary, decisions reached beforehand by the interested parties were coercively imposed. As Platon had argued: ‘Do not expect justice where might is right.” 

He went on to say that, currently, the efforts of his Government are wholly devoted to alleviate, to the greatest extent possible, the impact of the Eurogroup agreement, in order to protect the interests of those affected, but also to re-establish confidence and trust in the economy of Cyprus and its banking system.

 “To this end, I have already announced a series of measures and reforms reached by my Government during a two-day marathon session of the Council of Ministers. These policy initiatives concentrate on supporting vulnerable groups, tackling unemployment, promoting growth, offering favourable tax incentives for existing or new companies doing business in Cyprus, encouraging foreign investments, increasing Cyprus’ competitiveness and creating a more effective and business-friendly environment,” the President added.

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