Cypriots who lost a bundle when the government confiscated nearly half their bank accounts to save itself want the European Court of Justice to get it back.
The EU court will hear the case brought by Cypriot bank depositors protesting the so-called “haircut,” they say stole their money and was legalized bank robbery, the Sunday Mail reported.
Alper Riza, a Turkey Cypriot lawyer, along with Christopher Paschalides and Antonis Paschalides will represent the appellants in Luxembourg.
Riza said the appeal is of “huge importance” to many Cypriot depositors who lost billions in the 2013 ‘haircut.’
“The case is also of general importance in EU law, and the reason why the appeals will be heard by the Grand Chamber of the ECJ comprising 15 top judges is because previous case law is unclear whether the European Commission and the ECB act as EU institutions or in a free-standing capacity when performing their tasks under the 2012 European Stabilisation Mechanism Treaty,” he said.
Reneging on a campaign pledge, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades authorized the bank deposit seizures shortly after taking office in March, 2013.
He was complying with demands from international lenders and said he had to save the country’s economy and the banks from their own mismanagement, although he also reneged on a vow to hold them responsible.
The appellants’ argue that the confiscations are unlawful because there was no law in the EU or Cyprus allowing the government to take the money.