Russia in Cyprus

Cyprus has now agreed to allow the Russian Navy to use its ports and is in discussions with the Russian Federation to use Cypriot airports to provide a base for Russian aircraft that are involved in providing humanitarian relief.  Continue reading

The Cyprus Financial Crisis

People in the world have forgotten about Cyprus. This small divided European nation linked by a common language to Greece became in effect bankrupt when its banks found that the Greek banks to which the Cypriot banks had lent money, were unable to repay their debts. Cyprus needed loans to replace the money lost in Greece. Greece had received loans, but not to enable it to repay its debts to Cyprus. Continue reading

The Long Bank Holiday

After the longest bank holiday in Cyprus (and probably in Europe) the banks are open for business. People can draw as much as euros 300 a day in cash. There are controls to prevent the flight of capital out of the country, because who, in his right mind, would not cut his losses in Cyprus if he could and who in his right mind would invest in Cyprus in circumstances when he knows that (a) he is not permitted to get his profits of his investment out (b) the European Union has taken a set against Cyprus and is punishing Cyprus for economic problems created by the profligacy Greece and a business model based on that of Luxembourg and Switzerland? Continue reading

The New Cyprus Problem

There has always been a Cyprus problem. It is a small island which has been ruled by many colonial powers for much of its recorded history. The French, Venetians, the Ottomans and the British all colonised Cyprus and exploited its people. Cyprus achieved independence despite the fierce opposition by many British in 1960; the colonial system of divide and rule drove a political rift between the Greeks and the Turks who lived in the island and after fighting in 1974 the island split into two sectors. Reunification of the island had until now been the Cyprus problem but today there is a new Cyprus problem, without the old problem having been solved. Continue reading

The Cyprus Bank Tax

When Adolf Hitler and his mob had invaded a small nation it was important to them to give their conquest the appearance of legality. They did this by getting the leaders of the conquered nation to sign a document, chasing them around the table or making physical threats if necessary. It seems old habits die hard. When I wrote about the proposed Cyprus bank deposit tax last Sunday, I believed the story put out by all the news media that this tax was approved by the government of Cyprus as part of a deal with the European Central Bank. It now emerges that the ECB had rather chased Mr Anastasiades, around the table, but Mr Anastasiades did not sign. He said he would sign after the Cypriot government had approved the tax. It now emerges that the tax was dreamt up by the technocrats of the ECB and the European Union, not by the Cypriot government. Continue reading

The True Worth of a Government Guarantee about your Bank Deposits

The European Union has 27 member states. Virtually all of them have had economic problems. In virtually all the economies, the economic problems were caused by over spending. Nations in effect bribed the voters with gifts of large pensions and large social security payments which the nations could not afford. Those gifts would be paid for by future generations unless the future amounts of the bribes were curtailed, and thus “austerity” became the solution for most of the economies.

But not all of the economies got into economic difficulty by making large bribes. Certainly Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Portugal did, but certainly Cyprus did not. It got into difficulties by investing its depositors money in Greece and in particular the Cypriot banks lent money to the Greek banks that proceeded to lose the money lent. Continue reading

The Waterfall Built of Rock

I first went toCyprus, the place of birth of my father in 1961, when I was twelve years old. I was struck by the arid and rocky landscape, compared withGreece. We visited the village of my father, Amiandos, which is over a thousand metres above sea level in the Troodos mountains. On one mountain side of the village was what looked to me like a waterfall built of rock. Continue reading