The European Union gave Cyprus till Monday to raise the billions of euros it needs to secure an international bailout or face a collapse of its financial system that could push it out of the euro currency zone.
In a sign it was at least preparing for the worst, the Cypriot government sought powers on Thursday to impose capital controls to stem a flood of funds leaving the island if there is no deal before banks reopen following this week's shutdown.
In stark warnings earlier in the day, the European Central Bank said it would cut off liquidity to Cypriot banks and a senior EU official made clear to Reuters that the bloc was ready to see the bankrupt island banished from the euro in the belief it could then contain damage to the wider European economy.
The ECB ultimatum came as the island's leaders struggled to craft a "Plan B" to raise the 5.8-billion euro contribution demanded by the EU in return for a 10-billion euro ($13-billion) bailout from the EU and IMF; angry Cypriot lawmakers threw out a tax on deposits, calling the EU-backed proposal "bank robbery".
Pictures tell the story in this link:
Local TV station CYBC reports that police in the Cyprus' capital are scuffling with protesters (including employees of Cyprus Popular Bank) outside the nation's parliament:
- *CYPRUS POLICE CLASH WITH BANK EMPLOYEES OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT
- *CYPRUS SCUFFLES BROADCAST LIVE ON STATE-RUN CYBC
CYBC says more protesters gathering at Parliament House
Eurogroup boss Jeroen Dijsselbloem told MEPs on Thursday (21 March) that Cypriot savers will have to lose money no matter what the final shape of the bailout deal.
"It is inevitable that there will be some kind of levy in the final deal," he said.
He described the proposed levy as "a tax measure, like a wealth tax."
He also said that Cypriot banks - which hold assets and liabilities worth eight times the country's GDP - will "have to be downsized and rebuilt on a healthy and sustainable business model."
The hearing in the European Parliament's economic affairs committee was Dijsselbloem first-ever in his new role as the head of the Eurogroup, the club of euro-using countries' finance ministers.
And below we see two articles from the Daily Bell that are of interest:
We think globalism is nothing like a spontaneous evolution. Every part of the current globalism seems to us to be the product of relentlessly detailed treaties, unions and corporate expansions. None of it is a free-market expansion so far as we can tell, or not initially.
There are globalists in the world, whether by conviction or accident of birth. And if the world is trending toward globalism is it is because of the relentless behind-the-scenes work of these individuals. Whether it is the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or any other pan-regional entity, we find the hand of man.
A hundred years ago there were a handful of central banks. Today there are over 150 and many of them report to theBank for International Settlements, another entity that was developed in the 20th century.
It is central bank money flows in conjunction with wars, multinational corporations, regional unions and other forms of geopolitical power that is creating the "entropy" that this article analyzes. But to indicate that this entropy was RESPONSIBLE for globalization is in our view a meme – inaccurate information being promoted to obscure the very obvious activism behind this evolution.
One can also make a case – and we have – that the European crisis is partially an artificial one, created by the same big banks that Europe is now so determined to rescue. The solution is austerity, and it has set half of Europe aflame.
Probably none of this is merely "accidental." The globalists behind the EU have stated repeatedly that they needed a financial crisis to abet a deeper union. And as the crisis itself deepens, managed movements like Grillo's will probably be repeated.
Is Europe is to be bludgeoned by austerity and panicked by a faux-fascist movement in the hopes the EU can be continuously deepened and strengthened as a result? If this is the case, have top Eurocrats miscalculated?