EU tells Cyprus to get a bailout or leave
BERLIN — The euro currency union, a centerpiece European policy for a generation, edged toward a rupture on Thursday when the region's central bank said it was ready to pull the plug on Cyprus.
The stark ultimatum came in a terse statement from the European Central Bank's governing board that on Monday it would cut off the flow of euros to Cyprus' financial system unless the country's leaders reach terms with the International Monetary Fund and other European nations on a bailout.
The IMF and other eurozone countries have offered to lend Cyprus around $13 billion, but expect the country to come up with $7.5 billion on its own through taxes, government spending cuts or other measures to help restart a banking system that is essentially broke. A plan to raise the money by taxing bank deposits — including tens of billions of dollars held by Russians and other foreigners — collapsed earlier this week in the Cypriot parliament.
Because Cyprus is small and its banks aren't so wired into the international system, a failure likely wouldn't trigger the kinds of global problems feared if Greece or another euro nation were to leave the currency union. Still, the uncertain fallout from a Cyprus exit fueled an intense hunt for options — from a nationwide bank restructuring that would put the largest Cypriot banks out of business, to more unusual proposals like mortgaging the property of the Orthodox Church, selling off natural gas rights, or simply asking for donations.
Those details, however, were overshadowed by the larger issues — of a developed world central bank flexing its muscle over a nation's leaders and of the possibility that the eurozone, after years of insisting otherwise, may finally have to admit that its membership is not sacrosanct.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Iraqi forces claim 2 towns wrested from ISIS
- 100 terrorists killed in Kenya retaliation act
- 5 terror plots foiled, London police say
- Putin says he won’t be Russia’s president for life
- Suicide blast kills 45 at Afghan volleyball tournament
- U.S. proposes extending talks with Iran as pessimism about nuclear deal grows
- Should Westerners who joined ISIS be barred from return?
- Turkey’s President Erdogan: Muslim sailors discovered Americas before Columbus
- Islamic State terrorists behead 3rd American
- 3 Americans, Briton killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack
- Interpol seeks environmental crime suspects