Bondholders Storm Bank of Cyprus

NICOSIA – Bondholders furious that nearly half their savings – in some cases all their money – was confiscated to prop up banks and pay for bankers mistakes attacked the Bank of Cyprus March 23.

Initial reports said that the angry crowd caused damage to the building before being repelled by riot police called in to protect the institution.

At least one window of the glass-covered building in the capital Nicosia was smashed and another three cracked when several people among around 200 demonstrators hurled stones and other missiles, witnesses said, according to Reuters.

One woman was knocked unconscious during the protest and was taken to hospital. There was a heavy police presence in the area.

Reneging on a campaign promise, President Nicos Anastasiades two years ago authorized the seizure of 47.5 percent of bank accounts over 100,000 euros as part of a deal to get a 10-billion euro bailout.

Those with accounts in the Laiki Bank, which was closed, lost everything and many Cypriots have lost a big chunk of their savings to satisfy the banks, government and the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) that put up the rescue money, and also demanded more austerity measures.

Cypriot bankers lost billions in bad loans to Greek banks that went bust and in holdings of Greek bonds that were devalued 74 percent but haven’t been reprimanded, prosecuted or otherwise disciplined while the depositors have had to pay for their mistakes.



NICOSIA, Cyprus  — Cyprus said Saturday it’s suspending processing all asylum applications by Syrian nationals because large numbers of refugees from the war-torn country continue to reach the island nation by boat, primarily from Lebanon.

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