April 2013        

Cypriots paying the price

While there has been much talk of “haircuts” for the Russian oligarchs whose deposits are supposedly stashed away in Cypriot banks, this is only a transfer of wealth from one cabal of gangsters (Russian) to another cabal of gangsters (ours, in the form of the EU).
     There was money from the Russian oligarchs in Cyprus because it is one of many such bolt-holes for dirty money. The International Financial Services Centre in the Dublin docklands is another. Dirty money never stays long in one place.
     The “haircuts” will apply mainly to the Cypriot business community. While the banks in Cyprus were closed and working people had trouble getting cash, two banks—Laïkí Trápeza (People’s Bank) and Bank of Cyprus—left their branches in London open throughout the two-week crisis, with no limits on withdrawals. The Bank of Cyprus, which owns 80 per cent of Uniastrum Bank in Russia, placed no restrictions on withdrawals in Russia.
     The deal imposed on the Cypriot people, like the “Programme for Ireland,” is nothing more than a robbers’ charter: to rob the people, to hand over the people’s wealth to foreign bankers, in particular German finance capital.
     The people of Ireland, like all the peoples trapped within the European Union, need to realise that the EU is not for serving the interests of working people, nor can it be transformed into a more democratic body. The EU needs to be challenged, and defeated.
     The opportunism of Cypriot and other European left forces is now bearing bitter fruit.
     What is happening to the people of Cyprus exposes once again the true nature of the European Union. It is important that Irish workers’ organisations express their solidarity with the working people of Cyprus and that the Cypriot people are not alone at this critical moment in their history. The struggle against the EU is the cause of all working people.

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