The European Union has decided – in its infinite wisdom – to rob the personal bank accounts of Cyprus citizens to pay for its bailout of the country. Cypriots got a rude awakening on Saturday that should serve as a lesson to us all.
Specifically, account holders with 100,000 euros or more in their accounts will have 9.9% of their monies levied, while those with less than 100,000 euros will have 6.75% of their money confiscated. It’s all subject to a vote by the Cyprus parliament, but I wouldn’t bet against their likelihood to make nice with the EU and keep using the euro.
Of course, the announcement was made in such a way to offer no warning and to prevent depositors from having access to their funds before banks re-open on Tuesday. No one can escape.
You and I know the western world has turned into a giant stage for governments to perform their theater. Without them, we wouldn’t be safe, prosperous, or happy. So predictably, the EU officials who have been pushing for this “bail-in” to save their own hides resorted to government-speak to make it all sound oh-so-reasonable.
The finance minister of the Netherlands told reporters “as a contribution to the financial stability of Cyprus, it seems just to ask for a contribution of all deposit holders”. Among greedy governments’ favorite words are “just” and “ask”. They love to frame their dirty deeds as “justice” and their theft as “asking”.
Except no one in Cyprus asked to have thousands of euros taken away from them, nor do they feel it is just. One pensioner said “this is theft, pure and simple”. A resident of Nicosia interviewed said “this is stealing… I feel rage”.
Cypriots are understandably upset that Berlin is helping to wipe out their savings by imposing a “tax the Russians to pay for the bank bailout plan”.
While an estimated one-third of Cyprus bank accounts are owned by Russians, presumably mobsters, the rest are controlled by normal, everyday Cypriots and small businesses.
Of course, the government is here to save you by “asking” for you to hand over some money. After all, we wouldn’t want to prop up the Russian mob.
It’s the same playbook that is used by bankrupt governments worldwide, including in the United States where a laundry list of rules on bank reporting is designing to “root out terrorism”. After all, if you were able to use your own money freely, we might get bombed by a guy in a cave. It’s the same thing.
Angry Cypriots are seeing first-hand how your money isn’t safe if it’s under the money-grubbing power of a western “free economy”. They are taking it in the shorts as a consequence of believing their government which speaks in platitudes about “asking” when what they’re really doing is “stealing”.
The EU has labeled their dipping into privately held bank accounts as “an upfront one-off stability levy.” It’s a nice way of re-framing the exact dictionary definition of stealing: “to take (the property of another) without right or permission”.
For years, American and European governments have been cracking down on cash transactions, “suspicious” deposits, and offshore banking transactions. They want to know just where your money is so that when the time is right, they know right where to find it.
If you have money stashed in another fragile EU economy, I doubt you’re sleeping too well tonight. You may well be next.
But don’t think politicians in the United States aren’t watching and learning from this, fork and knife in hand.
You put your money in the bank to keep it safe. Maybe even earn a pittance of interest. Yet you never expect it to be seized thanks to no fault of your own.
To your government, your fault in any matter is relative to it retaining its own power and continuing the charade of stability within its borders. Then said government will take, by hook or by crook, it’s unilaterally decided “fair share”.
They’ll tell you it’s a “one-off” event like the bureaucrats are proclaiming in Cyprus, but you know better. History shows that once they get the high of stealing (sorry, “asking” for a “contribution”) from their own people, they’re addicted.
Most people buy into the charade. That’s what keeps the party going. At least until it’s too late. Cypriots learned that the hard way this weekend. The United States and the rest of Europe are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and chomping at the bit to get their hands on what’s not theirs.
Call it a levy, a tax, a contribution, or just a “fair share” when they need to. The similarities are unmistakable.
Become internationalized and don’t depend on any one government. Yours is no better than the rest. Find a safe haven free from the entanglements of bankrupting unions and treaties and welfare systems where you’ll be left to foot the bill. As Cyprus have shown, no one is safe.