23/03/2013

Cyprus Timeline

What a week it's been for Cyprus.

Monday 18th: First we heard of plans to take money out of the bank accounts of savers in Cyprus to help raise enough money for them to qualify for an EU bailout. And we in the UK sat there thinking, "Taking money right out of your banks? We don't let that kind of thing here." Unless your bank sends you a letter, when they help themselves to £15 for the stamp.

In general, we don't let banks take our money. We let them lose our money, but not just take it.

Their original plan was to take a percentage from every account, regardless of how much was in it. I liked that idea, because I have a massive overdraft. If they want to take on 10% be my guest.

Tuesday 19th: Taking money away from everyone wasn't popular. Go figure. So they changed the plan. The plan then became to only take money out of the accounts of people who had €100,000 in their accounts. Some said the nice thing about this plan was that it would get some of the dodgy laundered Russian money that seems to be in the country. If you raise taxes only tax payers suffer. If you take money out of the bank accounts the people with bank accounts suffer. In a country with more bank accounts than people it seemed like a good idea.

Not taking money out of the accounts with only a few hundred euros seems fair. If you're a money launderer and you only have that much, you need all the help you can get.

Wednesday 20th: The newspapers reported that the Royal Air Force was sending over a plane carrying €1m for UK military personnel. That's also how much money you have to take on a Ryanair plane if you want to buy a snack during the flight.

The MoD said the flight has a "contingency measure" in case cash points in Cyprus stop giving out cash. If you see a military aircraft with a small yellow box painted near it, that's the one.

Thursday 21st: Dunno. I was busy. Sorry.

Friday 22nd: We heard news that the Cypriot parliament rejected the plan to impose a levy on bank deposits. All that excitement for nothing. I was looking forward to hearing how many pens were nicked from the branches of they took 10% of everyone's savings. But wait...

Saturday 23rd: There was a headline saying, "Cyprus reaches deal on 20% levy on large deposits at main bank in 11th-hour bid to secure EU bailout". They had to. The country is in a race against time after the European Central Bank gave Cyprus until Monday to find the money. If they don't have the money liquidity to the country's banks could be cut off and they could collapse.

It's the weekend and they need money for Monday. Wow.

I bet Wonga.com is expecting a big application any time now.
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