Laiki bank depositors, who saw their uninsured deposits wiped out in March 2013 when the lender was wound down, on Wednesday announced their intention to vote in the 2018 Presidential elections for whichever candidate makes the clearest pledge to compensate their losses from the state budget.
In a statement, Laiki depositors’ association SYKALA said Finance Minister Harris Georgiades’ response to whether the government has any intention to offer such compensation was that “this government has no such intention; the issue of compensation will fall to the next government to tackle”.
This view, SYKALA noted, departed significantly from Georgiades’ earlier views, according to which “if [depositors] have a problem, they should resort to the courts”.
“SYKALA understands fully what lies beneath the minister’s words,” the association said.
“Slyness, extreme mockery, and ELECTIONS 2018. This is why we have recently seen the minister announce hand-outs left and right, an opportunity he never would have had, had he not usurped Laiki depositors’ money overnight, which he now stubbornly refuses to return, even gradually.”
Determined to protect the interests of the brutally crushed Laiki depositors, the statement said, the association will “not take the bait of vague, incomprehensible, and sly remarks”.
“Responsible political men speak clearly and courageously,” SYKALA charged.
“The implication ‘Vote for us in 2018 so that you can hope’ suggested by the minister’s remarks is a ploy, and a cheap one, at that.”
The 50,000 individuals – Laiki depositors and their dependents – “will vote for the candidate who speaks to us clearly and honestly”, the association said.
“If we have to choose between presidential candidates, the decision is not difficult,” it added.
“The sitting government has proven unreliable and does not honour its promises and commitments.”
For the Nicos Anastasiades government, there is only one way to persuade us, the Laiki depositors said.
“And that is, to find the funds in the 2017 government budget through which it can start to pay back those to whom the state and the financial system owes its very existence,” they warned.