Sunday

28th Nov 2021

Cypriot archbishop calls for euro-exit

  • The Cypriot church has close links with Russian orthodox clergy (Photo: Richter Frank-Jurgen)

The leader of the Cypriot orthodox church has said Cyprus should leave the euro and put its former government on trial.

Speaking in Greek publication Realnews on Saturday (23 March), Chrysostomos II said: "The euro cannot last. I'm not saying that it will crumble tomorrow, but with the brains that they have in Brussels, it is certain that it will not last in the long term, and the best is to think about how to escape it."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

He noted: "It's not easy, but we should devote as much time to this as was spent on entering the eurozone."

He said in Greek daily Kathimerini on Sunday he will meet with Russian investors in Cyprus to appeal to them not to flee the island.

Speaking again to Cypriot media after mass in Nicosia on Sunday, he added that the government of former president Dimitris Christofias and the island's top bankers should be put on trial.

"The government that has just left office is definitely to blame. The finance ministers are to blame. The Central Bank turned everything upside down. The managers and bank executives should be put on trial because they turned everything topsy-turvy and people have become destitute," he said.

His remarks tap into popular anger against plans to tax bank savers and bondholders in order to top up a €10 billion EU-IMF bailout.

A poll last week by Prime Consulting noted that two thirds of Cypriots would be happy to leave the single currency and seek aid from Russia.

Under a new deal clinched in Brussels in the small hours of Monday morning, large depositors in Cyprus' Laiki bank, which is to be wound down, will lose their money. Savers and bondholders in the Bank of Cyprus will also take a hit.

The country's banks remain closed for now and emergency laws have limited ATM withdrawals to just €100 amid fears that when they re-open, Russian businessmen will take their billions elsewhere.

Chrysostomos II had earlier in the week proposed an alternative model involving the use of Church assets.

He said on Wednesday after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades the church could help create a "solidarity fund" using money raised by mortgaging some of its properties.

The church is one of the largest landowners in Cyprus. It also holds a chunk of Hellenic bank, the island's third biggest lender, and shares in Cypriot beer maker, the KEO brewery.

It has played an active role in Cypriot politics in the past.

In 2004, it denounced an UN-brokered peace plan for the frozen conflict with Turkish-controlled north Cyprus as the "work of the devil," contributing to its defeat in a referendum.

Correction: the original text said the EU bailout is worth €17 billion. It is worth €10 billion. Apologies

Eurozone agrees Cyprus bailout 2.0

Cyprus' Laiki bank is to be wiped out. Depositors in Bank of Cyprus will also take a hit under a new bailout deal. But details remain sketchy.

Analysis

Cyprus 'business model' was no mystery to EU

EU politicians are saying Cyprus must scrap its "unsustainable business model." But data shows the writing was on the wall ever since the island joined the euro, five years ago.

Eurogroup boss: Cyprus levy is 'inevitable'

Eurogroup boss Jeroen Dijsselbloem told MEPs on Thursday that Cypriot savers will have to lose money no matter what the final shape of the bailout deal.

News in Brief

  1. Covid variant: EU to block travel from southern Africa
  2. France and UK seek EU help on Channel migrants
  3. New Swedish PM who resigned after 7 hours gets second chance
  4. Belgium to decide on Friday on Covid measures
  5. UK rings alarm on new Covid strain in South Africa
  6. Turkish police use tear gas at women's rights march
  7. Poland calls for more Nato troops
  8. Ex-Navalny aide leaves Russia

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Belgium goes into three-week 'lockdown light'
  2. MEPs list crimes of 'Kremlin proxy' mercenaries
  3. EU to open up 'black box' of political ads
  4. Can the ECB solve climate change and inflation on its own?
  5. EU set to limit vaccine certificate to nine months
  6. Surprise coalition in Romania without former Renew's Ciolos
  7. This 'Black Friday' is a turning point in corporate accountability
  8. West struggling to show strength on Ukraine

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us