FURIOUS CYPRIOT workers took over the streets of Nicosia on Tuesday and occupied the Bank of Cyprus.
The occupation took place on the eve of the government imposing special controls that would limit withdrawals in the event of the bank’s opening today.
The ruling EU Troika is terrified that as soon as the bank opens there will be a colossal run that will spread internationally, first of all throughout southern Europe, before hitting the dodgy banks of the UK and France.
The Central Bank governor yesterday refused to say how long the controls would be in operation, or what would be the amounts that the banks were prepared to release.
However, the reality is that they may not open again, under the control of the governor, but they may well be reopened by the action of a revolutionary people.
The people may well take full control of the situation and of the bank, and decide that the full deposits will be handed back, dealing a heavy blow at the bank robbers.
Such an example will be followed throughout Europe as the only proper way to deal with a ruling class and their bankers who are aping Marie Antoinette and the Bourbons.
After all, the rest of Europe is still reeling from the remarks of the Dutch Finance Minister, a pillar of the Troika dictatorship, that the great Cypriot bank robbery would be the way – the ‘template’ – for dealing with the banking crisis throughout Europe.
The Dutch Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said: ‘If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be, “Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?” If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders.’
In short, the Troika bank robbers have stressed that the Cyprus operation was not a special case. In the context of the raging and deepening crisis of the capitalist system it is ‘the new normal’.
Obviously in the height of their delirium – that they could get away with a massive robbery of the depositors – they did not dream, even for a moment, that the ‘new normal’ would meet a revolutionary response that has begun in Cyprus, but will blaze its trail throughout Europe.
On Tuesday, workers, housewives and up to 3,000 youth protested outside the Cypriot parliament before they went on to occupy the Central Bank.
Outside the central bank, thousands demanded the resignation of the central bank governor, chanting ‘Hands off Cyprus’ and ‘Disgrace’.
If the banks are not opened today, then the masses of the working class and the youth will be of a mind to open them by revolutionary action, bringing the working class into head-on conflict with those sections of the capitalist state in Cyprus that are prepared to fight for the ‘new Bourbons’.
Such a struggle will spread rapidly throughout Europe where workers and the middle class, as a whole, will not need much encouragement to take action to secure all of their bank deposits.
The major UK banks have just been told that they must raise £25bn in extra capital by the end of 2013 to ‘guard against potential losses’, the Bank of England (BoE) has said.
In a statement, the BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said that only some banks need to raise the cash, however it did not name them, leaving depositors to figure out which banks were the furthest over the edge of the abyss.
The FPC said banks could face losses of about £50bn over the next three years, relating to bad loans and fines.
Workers are becoming more and more convinced that capitalism on a world scale has reached the end of the road.
They are right. Now is the time to build sections of the Fourth International in every country to make sure that humanity survives the death agony of capitalism and goes forward to world socialism.