“Painful,” “sheer blackmail,” “punishing” and “intolerable” are some of the words Greece’s politicians used Monday to describe the deal agreed between Cyprus and the troika for a 10-billion-euro bailout of the country.
Speaking several hours after the deal was reached in Brussels, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou suggested that Cyprus faced little choice but to accept significant losses for large depositors as part of the deal.
“The agreement stops the slide toward a eurozone exit and the chaos that would come with that,” he said.
“Cyprus has produced miracles many times. It will do it again,” added Kedikoglou. “It has the ability to make use of its unique position and its wealth-producing resources to return to prosperity and growth soon.”
He also warned that other countries should not seek to take advantage of Cyprus’s economic weakness. The comment comes after the Turkish Foreign Ministry warned on Saturday of a “new crisis” in the Mediterranean if Cyprus collateralizes gas revenues as part of plans to form a solidarity fund.
PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said that eurozone powers, particularly Germany, had chosen to make an example of Cyprus by “punishing and knocking sense into” the country.
SYRIZA said that Cyprus had succumbed to “blackmail” and “threats” in order to agree to the deal.
The leftist party criticized the government for failing to show solidarity for Nicosia and accused Southern Europe of “shooting itself in the foot” by failing to form a united front against the idea of a depositor bail-in.
In his speech to mark Greek Independence Day on Monday, President Karolos Papoulias described the agreement between Cyprus and the troika as “intolerable” and “selective.”