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‘Eurogroup statement respects dignity of Cypriots’ – Scicluna

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna welcomed Eurogroup joint statement as one that respects dignity of Cypriots by letting own authorities decide measures to address ailing financial sector

25 March 2013, 12:00am
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna with Finance State Secretary for the Netherlands Frans Weekers, at the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna with Finance State Secretary for the Netherlands Frans Weekers, at the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.


"I am very satisfied that our Eurogroup joint statement respects the dignity of the Cypriot people by letting their own Authorities decide the appropriate administrative measures they deem fit to apply for their exceptional situation of their financial sector," said Minister Scicluna following the conclusion of the Eurogroup meeting which was convened in Brussels on 24 March 2013.

 At this meeting, Eurozone Finance Ministers agreed a last minute plan for Cyprus in view of the looming deadline set by the European Central Bank that it would stand ready to cut its emergency lending assistance to Cypriot banks if a bailout package was not agreed by Monday 25 March.

The meeting which lasted, into the early hours of Monday morning, was preceded by another high level meeting between the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council chief, and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who heads the Eurogroup.

The leaders were then joined by Mario Draghi, ECB president, and Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director.

In its statement, the Finance Ministry said that  the agreed bailout package retains a financial envelope in the region of €10 billion but does not maintain the controversial levy on insured deposits (below €100,000) suggested last week.

It however noted that uninsured deposits (those in excess of €100,000) in the two major banks will suffer losses as part of the restructuring exercise.

The package will also allow the Cypriot Government to make use of capital controls to contain the cash outflows from the banking system.

The ministry added that at the same time, the European Commission will monitor that such measures applied remain temporary, proportionate and applied in a non-discriminatory manner.

"This agreement attained the support of all euro area Member States as well as the ECB, IMF and the European Commission," the ministry said.

"The programme will address the exceptional challenges that Cyprus is facing and restore the viability of the financial sector, with the view of restoring sustainable growth and sound public finances over the coming years."

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna was accompanied for the ECOFIN meeting by Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri.

 "Once we are satisfied that the deposit guarantee is respected we should offer all the assistance we can give within the €10 billion limit to contain the mishap which has befallen Cyprus," concluded Minister Scicluna.
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Mila Christova
Whatever happened to that EU holy cow, free movement of capital?? Looks like anyone with cash in Cyprus banks not only can not move it but stands to be robbed of it. Union? My left foot. The EU was the biggest trap the Maltese were ever led into aided and abetted by that pseudo priest EFA. True the bait was tempting and tasty but eventually we will end up on the plate of the Germans and French, the kings of the EU.
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James Axiaq
Stop Talking Malta Down. We have a New Government.We have investers awaiting to come here.Think positively.
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Malcolm Mifsud
The economies and banking sector of Luxembourg and Malta are very different from those of Cyprus. What irked the EU mainly was the influence of the Russian bear over the Cyprus economy especially as this could lead the a weakening of the EU hold on the mediterranean especially if Russia lost its naval base at Tartus in Syria. However this is still an eyeopener if we ever come to depend on the EU big troika. Let us make no bones about it that certain economic activities of the microstates do irk the big EU countries because they allow citizens of these countries to avoid certain strictures and regulations. In our case our financial sector,large ship register and digital gaming do somewhat irk these large economies and yet are pillars of our economy. The moral is one to ensure that in these spheres we stay clearly within the rules and international conventions and to make sure we are always financial self sustaining depending on public finance solely on funds belonging to Maltese citizens. In this context we must take action to ensurethat our banks separate deposits of Maltese citizens from those of foreign investors.
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Anthony Demanuele
Furthermore, I think Scicluna should have a word with the Cypriot Foreign Minister as his views are polarised from those of our Finance Minister .As I just watched a TV interview on CNN with this Cypriot Minister who said " THE EU HAS STRIPPED US OF OUR DIGNITY!.Quite a conflicting contrast!
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Anthony Demanuele
What a load of bovine excreta.As the only thing the EU respect is bailing out creditors and their friendly neighbourhood bankster buddies and they have never let any country decide or dictate their own terms-despire what Scicluna says(who is quickly becoming another dickie-licker Fenech clone),for it is and always has been thus -either their way or the highway
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I thought they sacked the Perm Sec? Maybe they had second thoughts?!?!
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roderick degiorgio
Now savers in Spain, Italy and elsewhere in the Eurozone are left to wonder about the safety of their own accounts.