THE Cypriot parliament yesterday postponed an emergency session on the 7-10% banking tax imposed by the EU on every depositor in the country’s banking system.
This has already been termed by locals as a ‘clear-cut case of robbery’. Already, ATM machines have been shut down, and farmers have appeared on the scene with bulldozers ready to do what is necessary to get their cash back.
However, the reality of the situation, that the Cypriot banks do not have the cash in their vaults to restore depositors’ money, demands a revolutionary solution to this crisis.
The parliamentary debate and a presidential address is now to take place today. By the time it ends, most Cypriot banks could well be occupied by their depositors, who will be considering what further steps they must take to end this ‘clear-cut case of robbery’, to get their cash back.
The Cypriot president has said that refusing the bailout terms will lead to the collapse of the country’s banks. However, they have already collapsed.
The implications of the EU’s bankers imposing a 7-10 per cent banking tax on an entire state are completely revolutionary. This time the EU is not just deciding who the government will be, it has decided to act as a bank robber.
The prospects are that the Cypriot parliament will refuse to do this, leaving the EU leadership with no option, but to order the government to carry out the robbery using the police and the state forces to do so.
This will leave the Cypriot working class with only one option – that of taking possession of the banks, bringing down the government and bringing in a revolutionary government.
It will not be lost on workers and young people throughout the EU that they could be the next target of the EU’s robber financiers.
Their initial reaction may well be to withdraw their cash, and begin a run on the EU’s banks that will reveal that they too are already bankrupt, and see the banks closed.
As the Cypriot crisis explodes, depositors throughout the EU will be forced to ignore governmental and other assurances that ‘it can never happen here’. They will test out themselves whether the banks have enough cash to return their deposits.
In Cyprus, the opposition leader George Lillikas has already said the president – who was elected last month – had ‘betrayed the people’s vote’.
Sharon Bowles, MEP, chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has said she is appalled by the plans to impose the tax.
‘This grabbing of ordinary depositors’ money is billed as a tax, so as to try and circumvent the EU’s deposit guarantee laws. It robs smaller investors of the protection they were promised,’ she said.
However the EU parliament is purely cosmetic. The real power is the European Central Bank and the eurozone’s financiers.
‘The challenges we are facing in Cyprus are of an exceptional nature,’ claims Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who helped engineer the plan, ‘Therefore, unique measures are determined to be necessary.’
However, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the group of euro area finance ministers, made it clear early on Saturday that he could not rule out taxes on depositors in countries beyond Cyprus, although he said such a measure was not currently being considered.
‘What the deal reflects is that being an unsecured or even secured depositor in euro-area banks is not as safe as it used to be,’ said Jacob Kirkegaard, an economist and European specialist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. ‘We are in a new world.’
In this ‘new world’, capitalism is crashing, its currencies are pieces of paper and gold is money.
This is not a new world but the essence of the capitalist madhouse revealing itself. The only way out of this madhouse is through the working class carrying out socialist revolutions to smash capitalism and imperialism worldwide, and replace it with world socialism.