Cyprus Mail

Open letter to Mario Draghi, Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Christine Lagarde

Mario Draghi

I would suggest that it is evident to even the most ardent supporter of the methodology currently being implemented to all eurozone countries in need of assistance has and will continue to lead millions of “our fellow Europeans” (a phrase which should not be used lightly) to misery, poverty, and a myriad of socio-political problems.

The evolution of this methodology has resulted in the wiping out of the second biggest bank in Cyprus and the bail in/haircut of our biggest bank. This will have an equally catastrophic impact on the Cypriot economy and society generally.

The terms under which the assistance being offered to Cyprus are so onerous especially in relation to the bail in that it will inevitably knock Cyprus back 20 years, in terms of financial and social stability. It simply defies logic of any type. It especially defies the basic principles of sound lending which dictate that the impact of the terms imposed on a borrower cannot be such so as to take away the borrower’s very capability to repay the loans being made. Inevitably one questions the motive behind such decisions.

The only logical step left even at this late stage in the process is to cover the amount of the bail in by increasing the loan to Cyprus. Cyprus can then, in good time and with proper reform and planning, pay back this loan without having to become a third world country to do this.

The political posturing relating to the money laundering allegations (proven to be groundless) and the Russian money in Cyprus being far less than considered initially cannot change the fact that thousands of Cypriot depositors whose input in the Cypriot economy is crucial to its survival have been destroyed.

If the backbone of our economy is destroyed, no debt can be repaid.

You have also omitted, again for political reasons, to take into account the very real prospect of the income from the offshore gas findings to be able to cover our obligations on a €15 billion debt just as easily as on the €10 billion debt.

We as a nation, our politicians and our bankers, have made tragic and even negligent mistakes which I for one acknowledge that they have to be paid for by Cyprus as a nation. I also readily acknowledge the need for radical and sweeping austerity measures as well as reforms in the way we run our government and our banking system.

However, we are not a manufacturing nation but a nation of service providers, lawyers, accountants and bankers. This is how we can earn the money to cover our obligations and there is no valid reason for you to take this away from us.

It is not too late to change your minds. Agreements can easily be redrafted and the appropriate authorisations and consents sought and secured if they are properly explained. Our debt can be extended. If this is not done, the current path we are on will lead to the economic annihilation of our country and your respective organisations will separately and conjointly bear a huge part of the responsibility for this.

I am only a citizen of Cyprus and by extension the European Union. I represent only myself and my children. I have only the power of my own voice but it is the voice of logic and reason and I urge you to listen to what I say above.

Constantinos D Messios

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