News / Middle East

Ex-Cyprus President To Blame For Financial Crisis - Inquiry

Ex-Cyprus President Demetris Christofias December 14, 2012 (Reuters)
Ex-Cyprus President Demetris Christofias December 14, 2012 (Reuters)
Reuters
Cyprus's former communist president and his government bear chief blame for the island's financial meltdown in March after they failed to control spending and behaved in an imperious manner, an independent judicial inquiry said on Monday.
 
The findings of a three-member panel commissioned by the current center-right government described how fiscal surpluses turned into runaway deficits, unemployment trebled and Cyprus was shut out of international financial markets on the watch of its previous communist rulers, in power from 2008 to early 2013.
 
Former president Demetris Christofias, who refused to testify to the independent panel, saying it had no mandate, swiftly dismissed the report as “full of untruths”.
 
The panel does not have executive powers but the probe adds to a growing mesh of recriminations over the parlous state of the 17 billion euro economy following the crisis.
 
“It's reasonable to conclude that the (former) president and the government functioned with the mantra 'I'm in government, I do what I like,”' said George Pikis, a former chief justice who headed the panel.
 
In a messy 10 billion euro bailout agreed in March, international lenders forced the closure of a major bank, Laiki, and the seizure of savings from large depositors to recapitalise a second troubled lender, Bank of Cyprus.
 
Both banks had suffered huge losses from a writedown in the value of Greek government bonds, an arrangement brokered by EU leaders in late 2011 to make Greece's debts more manageable.
 
When their losses became unsustainable, the Cypriot banks turned to the state to bail them out, but this proved unaffordable for a government running high deficits and unable to access capital markets.
 
Lenders from the IMF and the EU refused to offer aid to recapitalise the banks, worried that Cyprus would be saddled with unsustainably high debt, and forced a raid on deposits.
 
The judicial probe, which has been forwarded to authorities for further consideration, said Christofias had agreed to the Greek bond write-down without considering the consequences. He had also ignored advisors and his delay in seeking international assistance was “inexcusable”, Pikis said.
 
“He had no (concept of his) limits,” Pikis said.
 
Christofias accused the panel of ignoring what he considered to be the main causes of the crisis - greedy bankers over-exposing themselves to risk and an ineffective regulator.
 
“It is an illegal committee... which concluded on a text laced with untruths and slander,” he said in a statement.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid