Cyprus Mail

OPEN LETTER TO: Mr Mario Draghi, Chairman and the Members of the Board of the European Central Bank

ECB President Mario Draghi arriving at the Presidential Palace

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Cyprus’ tradition is to welcome guests and treat them as lavishly and well as possible. Whilst genuinely preserving the tradition, we have to invite you, in a frank and friendly way to find ways to compensate the Cypriot people for losses suffered as a result of your decisions:

* PSI. Loss to Cyprus Banks €4.2 billion representing equivalent relief to the Government of Greece
* Greek banks were supported in order to meet their losses; Cyprus banks were not, although they had important networks in Greece.
* ELA. Unjustified ELA of €9.2 billion was provided to Laiki Bank, most of which was required for its Greek branches.
* Forced ‘Sale’ of Cyprus Bank’s branches in Greece resulting in Loss of €3.4 billion out of the Cyprus Depositors’ pocket and an equal Capital gain to the Piraeus Bank which was “insolvent” at the time and overnight became “solvent”.
* You have adopted a method bringing huge losses to Cyprus and its banking system in order to “ring fence” Greece and the Eurozone, which, thereby, has resurrected an insolvent bank in Greece.

You have disregarded the fact that Cyprus was a small country with a GDP of €16 billion and could not afford all these losses. The equivalent of €17.1 billion Cyprus losses in Germany, based on their GDP, would have been €2.7 trillion! You use as a defence that Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Panicos Demetriades was agreeing to these measures ‘forgetting’ that he was repeatedly dependent upon your support for retaining his governorship!

The whole of Cyprus has suffered from your decisions. In fact you have destroyed the economy of Cyprus, using false arguments, like that of money laundering, whilst in some of your countries it is still thriving!

Among the victims of your actions are the 88,000 old shareholders of Bank of Cyprus. You have burdened our Bank with the losses of PSI and the massive losses from the forced disposition of Cyprus branches in Greece, to the point of turning a sound bank into red, in order to impose upon it the Laiki secured deposits of €4.2 billion and Laiki’s ELA of €9.5 billion due, in fact to you!

You claimed that we, old shareholders of Bank of Cyprus and depositors (!) should have known of the ‘bad’ position of Bank of Cyprus. On the contrary, Bank of Cyprus was solvent (refer to P. Demetriades evidence to the Parliament and to the Investigation Committee) and hence, neither we and bond holders should be practically extinguished, nor depositors should suffer a 47.5% haircut.

The amounts referred to above are, of course, negligible for ECB. We, the 88,000 small and medium sized shareholders have lost our savings, and the means of our living, because of your decisions.

We invite you, in a spirit of justice and goodwill to consider ways to mitigate Cyprus economic hardship. If you cannot apply justice and treat equitably small and big countries alike, you should allow other people to succeed you, in order to do so and avoid regular press reports about wrong practices that expose you and the ECB.

Hoping that this letter, supported by known facts and those coming to light, will be read in a true spirit of understanding and goodwill, we remain,
Yours truly,


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