Current Events & Trends: Cyprus crisis' impact on Europe

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Cyprus crisis' impact on Europe

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This little Mediterranean isle has mostly earned its keep by being an outsized banking center for massive foreign deposits from other countries, Russia in particular. But as in other southern European states, financial reverses during the last few years have been severe. The current crisis surfaced when the country was finally forced to ask for a massive bailout from the European Union and the EU responded with some unusually harsh terms—leading Cypriot leaders to consider raiding private bank deposits.

The Cypriot population responded with massive street protests, labeling the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank a troika or threesome—these three institutions sharing the irksome task of negotiating eurozone bailouts.

Fears quickly emerged that personal bank accounts could easily be raided across southern Europe, particularly in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and even the northern Irish Republic. Noted British author Max Hastings, writing in the Daily Mail March 26, labeled the bank raid called for in Cyprus "one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times" (these words from his article also forming its title).

He added, "It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens because it establishes a dire precedent." Good questions would be: What would a truly powerful United States of Europe do? What will the prophesied Beast power do? (Source: Daily Mail.)