Irish Republican News · March 22, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Noonan linked to Cyprus ‘tithe’


Sinn Fein Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said the Dublin government is complicit in a disastrous attempt by the European Union to expropriate up to 10% of the savings of some of the EU’s poorest citizens.

The island nation of Cyprus was thrown into upheaval last weekend when the ECB (European Central Bank) sought to seize a portion of all bank deposits, whether held by poor or rich, and whether ‘insured’ or not.

On Saturday it was announced that 9.9% of the bank deposits in the state above 100,000 euro, and 6.75% below that amount, would be withheld, subject to a vote in the national parliament. Banks were ordered to remain closed to prevent any capital flight.

The money grab was a condition of an ECB loan to continue funding for Cyprus’s failed banks which, as in Ireland, threaten to collapse the domestic economy and damage Europe’s banking system.

The main target was likely the stashed wealth of Russian oligarchs. But incredibly, the ECB also attempted to pilfer the meagre savings of impoverished goat-herders, chambermaids and pensioners.

There was disbelief in Ireland at the move, which was almost certainly hatched with the active connivance of Dublin government officials.

In a statement, the 26-County government trumpeted it as “a positive development for Cyprus, the euro zone as a whole, and Ireland”. But it fuelled fears that the EU might also seek to seize deposits in Irish bank accounts.

Following an international outcry, the Cypriot parliament rejected the levy on Tuesday night. As a protest massed outside, the new law that would have applied the mandatory one-time levy did not receive a single vote in favour. Germany’s Angela Merkel blasted the actions of the parliamentarians in Nicosia as “unacceptable”.

It remains unclear whether Cyprus will now leave the eurozone, be forced to accept other, equally onerous conditions from Berlin or negotiate an alternative strategy with Russia. Financial experts fear the Cypriot economy faces devastation whatever the outcome.

Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty said 26-County Finance Minister Michael Noonan had “joined with the bullies” in pushing the levy plan on a small country. He also pointed out that the plan backed by the Dublin government affects corporation tax rates. By agreeing to a plan which included a change in corporation tax rates in Cyprus, he said the Dublin government had weakened its hand in protecting Ireland’s right to set its own corporation tax.

“The complicity of the government in agreeing to this blackmail of a small EU state is shameful,” he said.

“As importantly it is directly contrary to the interests of Ireland. I am thankful that the Cypriot Parliament has thrown out the Eurogroup’s demands.

“Minister Noonan must now explain his role in that unfair demand and why he signed Ireland up to the principle that deposits are not safe and corporation rates are on the negotiating table.”

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© 2013 Irish Republican News