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article imageCyprus votes no to German blackmail, turns to Russia

By Katerina Nikolas     Mar 20, 2013 in World
Nicosia - Cyprus has voted no to the proposed bank deposit tax levy, labeling it as blackmail. As the small island nation defied Germany the Cypriot president was in talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Not one Cypriot MP voted in favour of the deposit tax levy. The speaker of the Cypriot parliament, Yiannakis Omirou, succinctly summed up the Cypriot position, saying "There can only be one answer: no to blackmail. This decision is no more than a raid on bank funds. Our demand must be that this deal must be renegotiated. If we pass this tax there will be no foreign investor who will keep their money here." (Telegraph)
Some Cypriot MPs spoke openly of a deliberate German plan to destroy the banking sector in Cyprus as punishment for Cypriot dealings with Russia.
Ironically, following Angela Merkel's diktat that Cyprus must only negotiate with the Troika, the Cypriots have defiantly turned to Russia. Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has flown to Russia, while Proto Thema reported Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has been discussing the options with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
Officials from the People's Bank of Cyprus are in Moscow discussing a deal with Russia. Also, according to Ekathimerini Russia may purchase the troubled Laiki bank in exchange for access to Cyprus gas reserves or a naval port in Cyprus.
With the tax levy now consigned to the bin, the outcome of the Cyprus bailout deal is now uncertain. Banks remain closed for at least another day, giving the opportunity for Cyprus to reach an understanding with Russia.
More about Cyprus, Cyprus bank tax levy, Russia, Nicos Anastasiades, Michael Sarris
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