Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Some reactions from Greece and Cyprus:

* Cypriot Economics "Nobel" laureate Christoforos Pissarides is fast on the "WTF but TINA" narrative:

Pissarides said "the requests placed upon us by the Eurogroup meeting on Friday are shocking. No one could have expected it. First reactions by the general public and the elected representatives in Parliament are completely justified", he remarked.

"It is simply not fair to be forced to pay for the past mistakes of a few in such a manner" Pissarides underlined.

However, he added, "we have to step back and think of the alternatives".
Pissarides told CNA "the truth is hard to swallow. If the law is not approved tomorrow the consequences will be much worse. There will be large scale bankruptcies and most small Cypriot bank depositors will lose everything, because they will discover that their banks will not open again."

And this, he stressed, "will not happen in some vague future date; it will happen now, this week. Our economy will collapse".
Pissarides said "I believe that however painful it is to accept the memorandum, it is our only hope for saving our economy from instant collapse. We will be able to overcome our troubles and we will see good days again, even better than the ones that we have known, because Cypriots know how to work hard to overcome adversity and succeed.

But first we have to accept that the deal that our government managed to work out in Brussels is the best hope that we have to avoid new disasters and make a new start".

  • The reaction from the general public that Pissarides mentions included large demos, threatening enough to force the President to be smuggled in and out of the Presidential mansion while his spokesperson was attacked by the people gathered there. The fact that this is a recently elected president who campaigned among other things on the explicit promise that there will be no haircut of depositors under his watch, has made people furious. One depositor attempted to take hold of his money with the aid of a bulldozer

  • Perhaps it is noteworthy that Cyprus is sitting on large hydrocarbon deposits worth up to 400 billion dollars, which is something which seems to me bizarre that no one is taking into account, as far as creditworthiness is concerned...

  • SYRIZA's "shadow ministry of finance" (Euclid Tsakalotos):

Developments in Cyprus show yet again that a policy which is not about the whole of the Eurozone, but consists of piecemeal actions for each country by itself, leads to a dead end. The decision for a haircut on deposits in Cyprus, even those under the 100k Euro guaranty, runs contrary even with the decision to further the banking union and to establish a pan-european bank-deposit guaranty  

From now on, in any crisis, wherever it might develop, the fear of depositors will be part of the equation, with unforeseeable consequences. The Eurogroup has made sure, with its mindless and without any historical perspective decisions, that in the future every crisis will be a drama as well

We are nearing a decisive moment where either the South as a whole will impose a fairer and sustainable total solution, or the eurozone will not be able to manage its centrifugal forces and the wrath of peoples

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 09:14:23 PM EST

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