By Christos T. Panagopoulos –
With a conclusion that seems more like a slap in the face, the Investigative Committee for the Cypriot economy blamed former President, Dimitris Christofias, as the first and main culpable for the situation, in which the country’s economy has come.
“Considering all of the testimonies that came before us, the first and main responsible for the situation in which the country’s economy was received, namely on the brink of bankruptcy, is the former President of the Republic, Mr Christofias”, is noted at the preamble of the Committee’s findings.
“He knew no boundaries”
Moreover, Christofias is held responsible “as it was him who was defining the country’s financial policies, ignoring all consequences which they had in every aspect of the country’s economy. He insisted on his positions, by ignoring all counsels and instigations coming from financial experts as what it had to do with the consequences of his decisions. He knew no boundaries”, noted the Committee’s report.
And it continued: “The most characteristic incident of this behavior was his decision to agree under no terms for the diminishing of the Greek bonds, which were held by Cypriot banks, without any countermeasure at all, a behavior which cause severe damage in the country’s banking system. The inexcusable delay in the submission of a request for support and conclusion of the Agreement, contributed largely to the accumulation of public debt, the deterioration of fiscal, financial and other related problems to the economy”.
“Christofias’s government knew about the ‘haircut’”
As the Committee insisted, Christofias and his government knew all possibilities about the imminent haircut in bank deposits, as that was applied in March.
In specific, on page 173 of the Committee’s conclusions it is written:
Paragraph 1.19 of the Memorandum which was signed on November 29th 2012 was leaving a large possibility of a bailout program in order to save the Cypriot bank by their own means.
There was no evidence that the former government either raised any objection or expressed its doubts and concerns as to the legal status of the decision of the European Commission on 6 June 2012 which makes provision thereof.
The European Central Bank, while answering to a letter demand issued by the Cypriot government to clarify whether there would be a haircut in bank deposits, had cleared that a haircut would be likely to happen.
“It is I who rule, I do what I want”
The Committee uses very harsh language against Christofias, resembling him more or less to… King Louis XIV of France.
Relying on the testimony of officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Commitee concluded that although initially the budget was drawn up by the officers of the Ministry, driven by the correlation between spending and state revenues, it was changed radically by the executive power before having been submitted to the parliament. Thus, costs increased drastically without any further investigation to be held by the departments of the Ministry of Finance.
“It is reasonable to say that both the President and the government functioned under the grid ‘It is I who rule, I do what I want’”, the Committee estimated.
Furthermore, the conclusions held responsibilities for members of the DHKO and the EDEK party and even for the former cabinet, clearing that “former Ministers had the opportunity as well as the discretion to reject propositions and bills concerning the economy, but in the end they didn’t do anything at all”. “In case of disagreement, there are two possibilities: either to resign or to fully comply with all decisions taken”, the Committee insisted.
About President Nicos Anastassiades’s responsibilities
The conclusions had something to say even for the present President of the Cypriot Republic, Nicos Anastassiades. “Both him and his government were poorly prepared for all discussions which were later held in the Eurogroup. But we do not reject his opinion that, before the agreement’s signing, he was found in the difficult blackmailing dilemma whether to consent or not in this Memorandum. It was he who carried the burden to accept, judging that his denial who have had worst consequences for his country”, the Committee concluded.