Thursday

21st Jun 2018

Cyprus report 'not enough' to convince German opposition

  • Social-Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel says Serbian mafia money is part of the 'Cypriot model' (Photo: Valentina Pop)

The German Social-Democrats say one report on anti-money-laundering measures in Cyprus will not be enough to convince them to approve a bailout for the troubled island.

"As long as there is an economic model in Cyprus based on black money, Serbian mafia income and tax dumping, I cannot imagine that we will allow German taxpayers' money to be used for the preservation of this model," German Social Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday (11 March) in Berlin during a press conference.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

"We will need more than a single report to convince us," he added.

A team of auditors is due on Tuesday in Cyprus to evaluate how money laundering laws are actually applied by local banks.

The report is one of the pre-conditions for eurozone finance ministers to approve the bailout request that Cyprus made last summer. Without EU and possibly International Monetary Fund help, Cyprus says it will go bankrupt by May.

The German opposition's vote is crucial in securing the Bundestag's approval of the rescue because backbenchers in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition are expected to vote against it.

The audit will be carried out by a mix of independent and governmental experts. The so-called Moneyval group, an intergovernmental body within the Council of Europe, which includes Russia and Ukraine, has already given Cyprus four clean bills of health on money laundering in the past 15 years.

But according to a Cypriot source, Moneyval will only check the overall system, while the individual account checks will be done by the independent auditors from a private firm, whose name is not yet public.

The audit is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

Bundestag likely to approve Cyprus bailout

The German parliament is likely to approve Cyprus' bailout programme despite concerns over a widening funding gap and growth projections which may prove too optimistic.

Opinion

Eurozone needs institutional reform

Both the examples of Greece and Italy test the limits of a system with inherent weaknesses that feeds internal gaps, strengthens deficits and debts in the European South, and surpluses in the European North respectively.

Opinion

Europe could lose out in North Korean bonanza

South Korean businesses including Hyundai and Samsung are already scoping investment opportunities. Will North Korea become a 'new Vietnam' opportunity - or more like Myanmar, where slow Brussels policy-making meant EU exporters lost out.

News in Brief

  1. PES to announce 'spitzenkandidat' names in October
  2. Macedonian parliament ratifies name deal
  3. EU to hit US with import duties from Friday
  4. Commission: New on-road CO2 test would take years
  5. Juncker orders migration 'mini-summit' on Sunday
  6. Luxembourg gave illegal state aid to energy firm
  7. Negotiators lower finger printing age of refugees to six
  8. EU to lift its internal data storage barriers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. How to get around the EU posted workers directive
  2. EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'
  3. Fate of EU refugee deal hangs in the balance
  4. Merkel, Macron in pre-summit pledge on migration, eurozone
  5. Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs
  6. Swedish party puts EU referendums back in fashion
  7. EU summit set to outsource asylum
  8. Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us