Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades spoke on Saturday of a ready-made decision imposed on Nicosia in the form of a blackmail: Take it or have the eurozone crumble, in the wake of the bailout package offered to Cyprus amounting to 10 billion euros, with terms such as a haircut to Cypriot bank accounts and the rise in interest and corporate taxation.
In a written statement he issued on Saturday afternoon, Anastasiades said “Cyprus came across a previously made decision, a fait accompli.” In his defense he said that the emergency situation “did not arise in the last 15 days that we have undertaken the country’s administration.”
He added that without the bailout both main banks of the country would crumble on Tuesday and his government would have to compensate depositors, eventually leading to a possible exit from the euro and a currency devaluation of 40 percent.
Anastasiades will issue a televised message to the Cypriot people on Sunday.
In Athens a Greek Finance Ministry official confirmed to Kathimerini on Saturday that “all three Cypriot banks active in Greece [Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular and Hellenic] will have their Greek branches absorbed by a Greek credit institution.”
He stopped short of naming the Greek lender to absorb them, although source say this may be state-owned Hellenic Postbank.