Yes, the IMF and the EU rammed a ~10% tax on bank account assets down Cyprus’s throat as a condition of Cyprus’s bailout (I’m not even going to get into whether bailouts are a good idea or not in this post).
The IMF/EU decided to do this on Saturday, after the banks closed.**
And the 10% “tax” will be removed from bank accounts before they open on Monday.
I’m not normally one to lambast all taxation as theft, but if a bunch of foreigners I didn’t vote for and who aren’t accountable to me or my countrymen come in the night to take money out of my bank account, I don’t see how it can be called anything else.
The article is full of quotes from various non-Cypriots, before finally, in the preantepenultimate paragraph, stating “Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades attended the talks.”***
I’m sure the DutchFinance Minister, the head of the IMF, the head of the European Central Bank, and the French Finance Minister, all of whom were involved in coming to this “agreement,” did so with heavy heart. After all, the Cypriots might fire them in the next election…
The nature of the EU and its shared currency has lead to this problem (just as it lead to the problem of Greece, etc.). Member countries must sacrifice their own best interests and that of their countrymen on the altar of the euro, and do so in vain. The European countries, their economies, and their cultures were distinct before the union. Expecting homogeneity to result from an unthinking merger into a bureaucratic state that is united only by a shared currency was folly.
The American colonists only thought they were taxed without representation in the years leading up to the Revolution–at least they were being taxed by their own government.
Cyprus is being taxed by foreigners. It’s hard to have less representation than that.
*Yes, gentle reader, I know that Michael Bay only directed Bad Boys II, and did not actually write it. But do you know who wrote it?
I thought not.
**And if you don’t think the powers that be in the EU knew about this before the close of business on Friday and transferred their money out of any accounts in Cyprus, just like how JFK didn’t sign the Cuba embargo until he had gotten 1200 Cuban cigars, I’ve got a bridge you might be interested in buying.
***The astute reader will notice that yes, the Cypriot Finance Minister was mentioned earlier than the Cypriot president, but also that despite his mention in the article, he was not quoted.