The European Parliament has heavily criticized eurozone officials, accusing them of a lack of transparency over their decision to enforce a deposit tax in Cyprus.
“We regret the lack of transparency and democratic accountability in the original solution proposed by the Commission, IMF and the ECB for Cyprus,” said European Parliament President Martin Schulz on behalf of the majority of political group leaders in the European Parliament Conference of Presidents - EPP Joseph Daul, S&D Hannes Swoboda, ALDE Guy Verhofstadt, Greens/EFA Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, ECR Martin Callanan.
“Eurozone finance ministers also must take responsibility for this original solution for the Cyprus banking sector. The proposed solution was taken behind closed doors in the early hours of the morning without proper reflection on the consequences for ordinary people. Yet the 'blame-game' on whose proposal this was only serves to undermine confidence in the EU."
The European Parliament leaders said that deposits of less than 100,000 euros should be exempt from any tax.
"A fairer and sustainable solution for the Cypriot people must be found,” they said in their statement. “We need a European solution to the Cyprus problem, not an external one. Ordinary people's savings should not be used to bail out the banking sector.
“The eurozone banking system is undergoing a radical overhaul with the establishment of a banking union and a single supervisory mechanism. The situation in Cyprus underlines the need for these to be put in place as soon as possible. Direct EU supervision over eurozone banks will be key in ensuring that similar crises as the one in Cyprus would be avoided.”