Video: Banks reopen in Cyprus, calm maintained

posted at 10:01 am on March 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

After nearly two weeks, banks in Cyprus reopened this morning — with strict controls on withdrawals, and with lots of extra security and police. So far, though, Cypriots have reacted calmly, while queuing in long lines to finally retrieve what little cash they can access. CNN’s Ivan Watson reports from the remarkably normal scene in front of one branch office:

The Associated Press reported that second-largest bank Laiki, which got split into “good” and “bad” banks in the interim, delayed its opening for almost an hour due to computer problems. Eventually they opened, too, and again customers appeared calm, if annoyed:

Large lines had formed outside the banks ahead of the opening of banks for six hours from noon. Systems were frozen ahead of the start of business, and guards from a private security firm reinforced police outside some ATMs and banks in the capital, Nicosia.

Branches of the country’s troubled second-largest lender, Laiki, didn’t open on time due to a delay in the bank’s computer system. Laiki spokesman Costas Archimandrites said there had been an initial issue with the bank’s system but that 80 percent of branches had opened after about half an hour.

At one branch in central Nicosia which was still shut nearly an hour later, an employee emerged from the bank and pleaded for patience with the line of about 50 people. Most waited calmly, although some began to complain about being made to wait.

The restrictions are stiff, but should allow for small depositors to conduct their business as usual, or close to it:

Capital controls, imposed to prevent worried savers and businesses rushing to withdraw all their money, include limiting cash withdrawals to 300 euros ($383) per day per person and limiting payments abroad to 5,000 euros.

No checks can be cashed, although they can be paid in, and people leaving the country can only take up to 1,000 euros, or the equivalent in foreign currency, with them in cash.

The restrictions will be reviewed daily and are initially in place until next Wednesday, the decision published by the Finance Ministry states.

Reuters notes that a review of records shows that Eurozone depositors saw this coming — perhaps one reason the EU felt comfortable in insisting on the “haircut” approach:

Savers from other euro zone countries withdrew 18 percent of the cash they held in Cyprus in February, amid concerns the struggling island would impose a tax on bank deposits.

Figures from the Central Bank of Cyprus published on Thursday showed deposits from other euro zone states fell 860 million euros to 3.9 billion euros, making them the fastest category to leave the stricken country.

Deposits from non-euro zone countries actually rose, by less than 1 percent to 21 billion euros, while deposits from local residents fell less than 1 percent to 42.6 billion euros.

It looks like Cyprus passed the first acid test.  The next will come when the restrictions get lifted or significantly relaxed.  I’d bet that won’t be next week, though.


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the people are powerless, and they know it.

rob verdi on March 28, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Yep…the human spirit is done for. You have snot-nosed yuppie kids who will put a rock through a Starbucks just for fun, but these people line up line cattle for slaughter.

ClassicCon on March 28, 2013 at 10:06 AM

No checks can be cashed, although they can be paid in, and people leaving the country can only take up to 1,000 euros, or the equivalent in foreign currency, with them in cash.

I remember visiting East Germany through Checkpoint Charlie as a teenager and having to exchange about $100 or so just to enter the country, that was the price of admission.

Odd how Europeans just accept this sort of thing, as if they learned nothing from the dead claw of the USSR for so many decades.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM

OF course they’re calm. They have nothing to fight with, nobody’s coming to their rescue because they’re a dinkball nation and everyone ELSE is also broke…and they know it.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Yep…the human spirit is done for. You have snot-nosed yuppie kids who will put a rock through a Starbucks just for fun, but these people line up line cattle for slaughter.

ClassicCon on March 28, 2013 at 10:06 AM

The snot-nosed yuppie kids generally don’t have any money in the banks, mommy and daddy are the ones paying the bills. And mommy and daddy don’t usually go out rioting in the streets. Plus, the state essentially sanctions that kind of violence against small businesses; they definitely don’t sanction that kind of violence against banks and other state or quasi-state entities.

The lesson I’m taking away from Cyprus is that the US government will be able to seize guns, seize bank accounts, and seize other forms of private property with some minor protests… at best. We will not see riots until the EBT cards get turned off and the people in the country used to using political violence to get what they want finally turn on the government.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Systems were frozen ahead of the start of business, and guards from a private security firm reinforced police outside some ATMs and banks in the capital, Nicosia.

Uh, I think that’s why people remained calm this morning.

Doughboy on March 28, 2013 at 10:18 AM

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Between the outflows in January and February and massive transfers of money while the banks were suppose to be “Closed”, all the big money is gone. All gone.

Bahhh. Sheep.

Who knows, maybe the Cypriot natives are thinking “Oh well, It was good while it lasted. Back to raising chickens.”

WisRich on March 28, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Those who think that Americans will react any different to such “tax” should lay off fluoride and bath salts. At least two thirds of the population are so conditioned by the public schools and colleges to bend over on demand that they wouldn’t contemplate armed resistance if their children’s life depended on it.

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM

When I saw the picture on the front page I thought to myself:

“why is Dennis Quaid at a bank in Cyprus?”

Gatsu on March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

The lesson I’m taking away from Cyprus is that the US government will be able to seize guns, seize bank accounts, and seize other forms of private property with some minor protests… at best. We will not see riots until the EBT cards get turned off and the people in the country used to using political violence to get what they want finally turn on the government.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I think you underestimate us. But you are correct, when the EBT cards stop working, it will get ugly.

iurockhead on March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Those who think that Americans will react any different to such “tax” should lay off fluoride and bath salts. At least two thirds of the population are so conditioned by the public schools and colleges to bend over on demand that they wouldn’t contemplate armed resistance if their children’s life depended on it.

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Realistically, you won’t see any kind of real resistance to the government until people can’t put food on the table and have no choice. I basically think national bankruptcy and collapse is all but guaranteed at this point.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Other governments are watching and learning…

d1carter on March 28, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Realistically, you won’t see any kind of real resistance to the government until people can’t put food on the table and have no choice. I basically think national bankruptcy and collapse is all but guaranteed at this point.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Food shortages won’t happen any soon. Unlike the USSR, America produces a massive agricultural surplus. It will take at least a decade of unmitigated socialism to ruin the sector. This land is so rich that it’s capable of feeding the population even when operated under forced-labor condition.

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

The Cypriots can only get 300 Euwos out of the banks and they should be damned glad to get it! /sarc

dogsoldier on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Food shortages won’t happen any soon. Unlike the USSR, America produces a massive agricultural surplus. It will take at least a decade of unmitigated socialism to ruin the sector. This land is so rich that it’s capable of feeding the population even when operated under forced-labor condition.

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Yeah, they’d have to wreck agribusiness pretty darn hard. When we have a national epidemic of people on welfare getting FAT – which is unheard of literally anywhere else in the world – it’s not going to come crashing down from a few Democrat screwups.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

We will not see riots until the EBT cards get turned off and the people in the country used to using political violence to get what they want finally turn on the government.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Strictly speaking, right now the people you refer to are the government. A mixed bag of ex-Sixties radicals, Woodstock burnout cases, and devotees of every kook belief system the Left has ever come up with.

They won’t direct violence against themselves. However, they are quite capable of declaring that it’s all somebody else’s fault, and then striking out at them to divert attention from their own stupidity.

To say nothing of their propensity for violence as a form of entertainment. The only thing more dangerous than an autocrat is a bored autocrat. Nero being a case in point.

It’s not like they won’t have enough ammunition, courtesy of DHS.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 28, 2013 at 10:37 AM

We will not see riots until the EBT cards get turned off and the people in the country used to using political violence to get what they want finally turn on the government.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Yeah nothing is uglier than a Detroit welfare queen who can’t get her malt liquor and cigarettes when she wants them./

Seriously, cutting off EBT cards will cause the 21st century equivalent of bread riots. All is fine so long as somebody else is feeling the pain but the minute these filthy parasites don’t get their “free stuff” they will react in a predictable way…. looting stores, torching cars, and rioting like their team just won the Superbowl.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Suckers.

CycloneCDB on March 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Seriously, cutting off EBT cards will cause the 21st century equivalent of bread riots. All is fine so long as somebody else is feeling the pain but the minute these filthy parasites don’t get their “free stuff” they will react in a predictable way…. looting stores, torching cars, and rioting like their team just won the Superbowl.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Can we kill them all, then?

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

“The restrictions are stiff, but should allow for small depositors to conduct their business as usual, or close to it”

Somehow I don’t think those long lines are people waiting to make a deposit.

tommyboy on March 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

The lesson I’m taking away from Cyprus is that the US government will be able to seize guns, seize bank accounts, and seize other forms of private property with some minor protests… at best. We will not see riots until the EBT cards get turned off and the people in the country used to using political violence to get what they want finally turn on the government.

Doomberg on March 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

This is where I see our country going, too.

When the turned-off EBT riots start, martial law will be imposed until government-determined “fairness” is enacted.

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Can we kill them all, then?

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

There will sure be a lot of people with guns and scores to settle.

And to be brutally truthful, we may have to. When 90% of blacks and about 2/3rds of Hispanics are totally loyal to liberalism, there is simply no way to talk that many people down from their agenda of riot/rape/loot when their welfare checks can’t be cashed.

What may well be required to cleanse society could be legitimately mistaken as a national atrocity if we don’t inform our descendants why it was physically unavoidable.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

This is where I see our country going, too.

When the turned-off EBT riots start, martial law will be imposed until government-determined “fairness” is enacted.

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

What in the hell makes any of you think they will ever turn off the flow to the EBT army? That sacred cow will never be touched. This pig of a government will confiscate your 401K and savings long before they would fcking touch the precious EBT and the power it provides them.

There is no fight left in anyone on the right…

ClassicCon on March 28, 2013 at 11:05 AM

At this point, I think them killing me would be less painful after having grown up in a much more civil country. Surviving in this world doesn’t interest me in the least. Obama and like-minded Americans have really increased the chasm between rich/poor, black/white liberal/conservative. Mr Bullet, I’d like you to meet Mr Brain.

Deano1952 on March 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM

What in the hell makes any of you think they will ever turn off the flow to the EBT army? That sacred cow will never be touched. This pig of a government will confiscate your 401K and savings long before they would fcking touch the precious EBT and the power it provides them.

There is no fight left in anyone on the right…

ClassicCon on March 28, 2013 at 11:05 AM

The system will collapse. And when EBT’s start working is when most people will finally realize it. The authorization and government funding for the program will last as long as it can, but it won’t last forever. It can’t last forever.

gryphon202 on March 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

And when EBT’s start stop working is when most people will finally realize it. The authorization and government funding for the program will last as long as it can, but it won’t last forever. It can’t last forever.

gryphon202 on March 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

FIFM.

gryphon202 on March 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM

What may well be required to cleanse society could be legitimately mistaken as a national atrocity if we don’t inform our descendants why it was physically unavoidable.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Even worse, such a necessity and discussion may well be used as an excuse to “cleanse Whitey”. Already such a solution is being debated by our darker brethren. See:Here and HERE.

Even in “academia” the final solution for Whites is being discussed openly in the classroom. Already the black panther movement has gained enough power to issue fatwa’s on human beings (Jorge Zimmerman) for their head and no charges have been filed. Gangs membership number well into the hundred thousands, making them by any definition private militias but our police forces are helpless to do anything. Why is the National Guard not sent in to deport say, every member of MS-13? They tattoo their faces for ID for gosh sakes! If fact, let me ask this, WHEN HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A GANG TAKEN DOWN, EVER??

We either fight for our land and admit to ourselves that things like race, culture and group interests exist or go quietly into the night, singing Kumbiya just before the machete reaches our necks.

Bulletchaser on March 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

What in the hell makes any of you think they will ever turn off the flow to the EBT army? That sacred cow will never be touched. This pig of a government will confiscate your 401K and savings long before they would fcking touch the precious EBT and the power it provides them.

There is no fight left in anyone on the right…

ClassicCon on March 28, 2013 at 11:05 AM

The system will collapse. And when EBT’s stop working is when most people will finally realize it. The authorization and government funding for the program will last as long as it can, but it won’t last forever. It can’t last forever.

gryphon202 on March 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Just consider that we are rapidly reaching a point where the Left has enough people who will vote for a living and that avenue of control of the government is closed.

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Benjamin Franklin

He said it best.

Now what peaceful options do the taxpayers have remaining is the big question of the day.

Aside for 2A options, the only thing we can do is go Galt, go on strike, refuse to feed the beast, whatever.

Make no mistake – this WILL need to be done and done often.

Many have suggested April 15th as a good start of the effort, and I tend to agree.

NMRN123 on March 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Even worse, such a necessity and discussion may well be used as an excuse to “cleanse Whitey”. Already such a solution is being debated by our darker brethren. See:Here and HERE.

Bulletchaser on March 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Why is it I’m not surprised to learn that the “Haiti threat” is still very much alive and well?

Let’s all take a moment to thank the South for importing these savages by the shipload because they were too cheap to pay a fair day’s wage to their fellow Americans, and then kept them on even after the ultimate disaster happened not a day’s sail away.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

“…calm maintained…”

THAT is their mistake right there! They just had their government, with the cooperation of these banks, STEAL THEIR MONEY…and Cypress is ‘applauded’ for taking it calmly like a ‘good, sub-servient slave/bi-@tch’?!

Perhaps that is why Obama/Democrats are trying so hard to get guns out of the hands of Americans – it’s easier to steal someone’s property when they have no way of defending themselves or their property!

easyt65 on March 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The question I would have is how did these companies see the handwriting on the wall? Are they in cahoots with the political class? It looks like what would be considered”insider trading” if it happened on Wall Street.

djaymick on March 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

wow…

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-03-28/10-40-now-80-confiscation-scheme

So… first it’s 10% on savings about €100,000… then we find out actually 40% was proposed… and NOW they reveal that realistically it could be as much as 80%.

and

Investors take note: a major development is at hand. As bankrupt nations and banks continue to spiral downward there will be more and more desperate attempts to plug the holes in their balance sheets by any means necessary. And it will be a LOT more than they claim,

The idea of confiscating savings is now on the table. And under an extreme enough crisis, this idea could indeed be implemented: the proposal will likely be “you, the people of this nation can choose…we can take 7% of your savings and your bank remains afloat or you lose everything.” Be prepared for this.

Smell the coffee people.

or is that something else?

dogsoldier on March 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

No checks can be cashed, although they can be paid in,

Not even paychecks? That’s a killer for those living paycheck to paycheck.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

OF course they’re calm. They have nothing to fight with, nobody’s coming to their rescue because they’re a dinkball nation and everyone ELSE is also broke…and they know it.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Their money is in the banks, and the government won’t let them get it. People tend to be very calm and cooperative when you have them by the you-know-what.

The overton window has moved now on the government stealing your money direct from your savings. We need to take precautions against the possibility of the government freezing our accounts or taking our 401Ks. And of course that fear in itself leads to a weaker economy. If people start withdrawing money from banks for fear of government action, then capital starts to dry up.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

No checks can be cashed, although they can be paid in,

Not even paychecks? That’s a killer for those living paycheck to paycheck.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Paid in = put into the account, subject to further confiscation. It’s all about forcing people into behavior that will not create a bank run…which means the tighter things get in Cyrpus, the more tyranical it will become.

gryphon202 on March 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM