As the hashtag #Cyprus has been trending for the past 10 days for us living here it has been a roller coaster of emotions. The plans that you might have made, your job, your family… everything passed through our minds as the idiotic conundrum of saving an irresponsible bank went on…
We are a small island economy with a very short memory. And because there has been already some mention of who is responsible below is a list of things we should not forget:
1. This all began in 2006 when a certain gentleman from Greece Mr Vgenopoulos invested in Laiki Popular bank and renamed it Marfin Laiki Bank. This “opened up the bank” and made it heavily invested and dependent on a seemingly rising economy. At the time the president was Tasos Papadopoulos and the Central Bank Governor was Athanasios Orfanides.
2. As the crisis unfolded and heightened in 2008-2009 Cyprus entered the euro. Although the main reason for joining the EU for a small country was negotiating power for the issue of the Turkish invaded island, somehow it saw that it had to gain from a monetary union… People were talking about rises in prices etc, but almost nobody mentioned that the structure of the euro would not allow for monetary policy from Nicosia anymore.
3. When the next president, Mr Christofias, came in he not only did not enforce more regulations on banks as his “ideology” would dictate, but he managed to spend the surplus that was (randomly) accumulated by the property bubble that was again overseen by the previous president (Papadopoulos) AND give a 4 bln “solidarity” amount to Greece when their loan haircut took place.
4. Over the years people have not said anything – they thought that Papadopoulos was a big brave politician that said no to the Annan plan and guided us into the euro. He was far from it – he oversaw the beginning of the end, his successor only heightened the problem and we were led to the current situation.
5. Let us never forget that the two large banks became over-extended and over-invested in another bankrupt state – that we have always followed from one idiotic move to the next.
6. The government before Papadopoulos is not without blame either – let us not forget the stock market bubble.
7. This is a small superficial list. I have no time to go into more depth or discuss it further. I have never voted (always thrown by ballot blank) and NEVER will vote.
8. We are a country with no plan and no vision. We do everything at random and go for what will fill our pocket today – never tomorrow.
I will never talk again. We all need to talk through ACTION. It is not what you say, it is what you DO.
One more point:
- We always appoint Finance minsters who are ex-bankers (conflict of interest) or that after being FinMins head to banks. We appoint Central Bank governors from academia – with no real experience. In the UK they brought in a Central Bank Governor from Canada to shape things up… maybe we should open the positions up to people with more experience and less political influences from within the country.