Monday, 18 March 2013
The EU/Cyprus Deal Is In A League Of Its Own - Or Is It?
As many of you know I'm an avid reader of crime novels, particularly political crime novels. Twenty years ago this plot would have intrigued me but given no cause for concern:
A tiny island country's going bankrupt. It's bigger 'pals' decide to help out but only if the country's politicians take 6-10% of every resident's savings to ensure they will get their investment returned. The people flock to their banks to retrieve their savings but find that their closed, because the decision to do this was taken on a Friday evening of a bank holiday (when the banks would be closed on the Monday). The people did their best to get their money but few managed and those who had saved quite a few pounds for their retirement found they couldn't access more than a few pounds from the hole in the wall.
The politicians insisted there was nothing they could do other than what their 'superiors' demanded because they'd signed up to be part of a group of countries in which such rules were permitted.
What happened next?
Who would have thought that politicians of any developed country would agree to their constituents paying a massive tax on their savings just to conform with the wishes of the EU? Certainly not the people of Cyprus.
Cyprus has received a €10bn rescue package in return for a series of despicably harsh conditions including a freeze on their banks to the tune of around €5.8bn. Another condition is a tax on depositors: 6.75% for anyone with less than €100,000 and 9.9% with anyone with over €100,000.
To many younger folk these sums may seem high, but even if Cyprus residents have a couple of thousand euros then their savings are immediately reduced by nearly 7%. It's been difficult enough for savers since the banks decided they ruled the world and I feel for the Cypriots.
What's worse is that - concerning the euro - deposits under €100,00 are supposed to be protected by EU law - rather like UK citizens were guaranteed protection in the Isle of Man Kaufthing bank disgrace.
Today the Cypriot parliament will vote on the 'deal' while the British Foreign Office bluster around in an attempt to protect the bank accounts of British military personnel stationed there. It's suggested the result will be close with some insisting the politicians will approve the deal. Other commentators say Cyprus may decide to leave the Euro altogether.
The EU has set a precedence of theft which is a criminal offence in most countries. My hope is that this is a massive home goal for the EU and that it will awaken millions to its true nature. Surely this action is enough for the SNP to rethink their policy regarding the EU.