European governments vowed that the swoop on bank accounts to finance Cyprus’s aid package won’t set a precedent for future rescues, pushing back against the impression given by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, according to a confidential document obtained by Bloomberg News.
“The Cypriot program is not a template, but measures are tailor-made to the very exceptional Cypriot situation,” according to the document, agreed yesterday by representatives of euro-zone finance ministries and intended as a guide for explaining Monday’s decision to the public.
Dijsselbloem, who chaired the meetings on the Cypriot package, triggered declines in European markets on Monday by telling Reuters and the Financial Times that future bank cleanups should be handled nationally and questioning the need for the use of European money to recapitalize banks.
While the Dutch minister issued a clarification later that day, several governments pushed for a confirmation at European level that the controversial tapping of Cypriot bank accounts won’t be part of the standard crisis-management toolkit.
Dijsselbloem became Dutch finance minister in November and took on the added European coordinating role in January. His spokeswoman, Simone Boitelle, said she was unaware of the document, known as “Terms of Reference” in Brussels jargon, and couldn’t immediately comment when contacted by Bloomberg.
The document recalled summit-level decisions to shore up the monetary union “based on deeper integration and reinforced solidarity, including the full implementation of our new enhanced economic governance framework, as well as further steps toward the completion of the banking union.”