MAIL ONLINE: People who rob old ladies in the street, or hold up security vans, are branded as thieves. Yet when Germany presides over a heist of billions of pounds from private savers’ Cyprus bank accounts, to ‘save the euro’ for the hundredth time, this is claimed as high statesmanship.
It is nothing of the sort. The deal to secure a €10 billion German bailout of the bankrupt Mediterranean island is one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times.
It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens, because it establishes a dire precedent.
If democratically elected governments are willing to impose outright confiscation of up to 40 per cent of balances over €100,000 upon depositors in Cyprus, then why not another such hit tomorrow — in Spain, Italy or, most plausibly, Greece?
This is the most brutal display since 2008 of how far the euro-committed nations are willing to go to save the tottering single currency. It shows that the zone’s crisis will run and run, to the grievous disadvantage of almost everyone except the Germans. » | Max Hastings | Tuesday, March 26, 2013