29/3/13

Ρούβλια στον ήλιο

Ο Πούτιν, μεγάλος νικητής της κρίσης των κυπριακών τραπεζών.

MOSCOW — The last time a crisis on a faraway island was this much of a headache for Moscow -- as Russians have recently taken to joking -- was in 1962, and the issue was missiles, not bank deposits. The news out of the Eastern Mediterranean in the last two weeks has been increasingly dire, particularly from a Russian point of view.
First there was the strong-arm bailout deal pushed on Cyprus by the European Union, which included a 9.9 percent tax on large deposits, many of them held by Russian businesses and individuals. Then came the news that the second biggest bank on the island, the Cyprus Popular Bank, will go bankrupt. Hundreds of bank accounts filled with billions of euros saved by rich Russian individuals or invested by Russian private and state companies have fallen under threat of being partly expropriated, or at least frozen. Granted, the consequences aren't quite on the scale of a global nuclear war, but the closure of Cyprus as an offshore banking center means that an integral aspect of how well-heeled Russians have conducted business for the last two decades is coming to an end.

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