By a vote of 36 against, 0 in favor, with 19 abstentions, Cyprus lawmakers today rejected a provision that would have made a proposed $8.7 billion bailout contingent upon taking 6.75 percent of the value of all bank deposits.
European Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan gave his opinion of the provision yesterday in the Daily Mail:
Ordinary savers and pensioners – the people who did the right thing, the people who had provided for themselves so as not to have to look to the state – are being expropriated along with the gangsters.
A good number of British pensioners are among them: Cyprus is a Commonwealth country, and as many as 60,000 British savers may be affected by the toll.
Not everyone with more than 100,000 euros in the bank is a Russian money-launderer. One British restaurateur, who was in the middle of moving house, is reported to have lost 20,000 euros. He, like everyone else, can now put a precise figure on the price of propping up the euro.
Hannan continues that what is really at stake is the European Union itself:
The least bad option for a country in Cyprus’s condition is to price its way into the market and export its way back to growth. But that would mean giving up on the dream of a European federal state.
Do you remember that, when the euro was launched, we were told it would add 1 per cent to its members’ growth every year in perpetuity?
As recently as four years ago, when the credit crunch hit, the anti-British leader of the Euro-liberals, a former Belgian president called Guy Verhofstadt, was sneering that the UK would soon be begging for permission to join.
Now we see the truth. The dream of political union matters more to Europe’s governing caste than the well-being of the people they represent. Shame on them.
A message not only to those in Europe, but also to those of us here watching our states spend themselves into oblivion.