Answering a call put out on social networking site Facebook, thousands of young people in Cyprus took to the streets to protest against the bailout accepted by the government.
Marching through Nicosia, the banners clearly show what they think of the deal struck with the EU, IMF and European Central Bank – known together as the ‘troika’. Some of them read: ‘Troika Go Home’, ‘Your mistakes, our future’ and ‘Merkel, Hitler – the same s***’
Student Yannis who took part in the demonstration complained: “Obviously many of our parents will lose their jobs, all of us will lose income, some of us will even find it hard to go and study at university.”
Another student, Thomas, directed his anger at the troika, saying: “They’ve just gotten rid of all our dreams, everything we’ve worked for, everything we’ve achieved up until now, what our parents have achieved. Basically they’re just knocking down this country because they want to.”
An anti-austerity protest is being organised for Wednesday by the second largest party in Cyprus, the left-wing AKEL. The party says the bailout will deepen the crisis and accuse the troika of having a plan against the people of Cyprus.
The Cyprus bank bailout
- The bailout will mean a significant restructuring of Cyprus’ banking sector
- The country’s second largest bank, Laiki bank, will be split into two parts, a “bad bank” and “good bank”, before being closed, incurring thousands of job losses
- Deposits in Laiki bank of less than 100,000 euros (effectively the “good bank”) are insured by EU law and will be transferred to the country’s biggest bank, Bank of Cyprus
- Deposits in Laiki bank of more than 100,000 euros are not insured by EU law and will be put into the “bad bank”
- Deposits in this “bad bank” and deposits of more than 100,000 euros in Bank of Cyprus will be frozen and used to pay Laiki’s debts and recapitalize Bank of Cyprus. These uninsured depositors will have to face forced losses of up to 40% on their deposits