MOSCOW, March 19 (Itar-Tass) – Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky on Tuesday said that the EU decision on Cyprus's bank tax was ‘Bolshevism’, adding that Russia should protect its investors there.
“Bolsheviks! Bolsheviks! We got rid of ours in 1991. Now we have this Brussels team,” he told journalists. He believes that big trouble usually starts in little countries like Cyprus, but then similar decisions can be taken in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, etc.
Zhirinovsky suspects that the U.S. would be the ultimate beneficiary in this particular case, as such decisions were about to weaken the euro. He said the forfeiture of Russian investors’ cash assets must not be allowed: “This is Russia’s money, for every citizen is a part of the state. Our state should rise in defense of Russian investors in Cyprus.”
Meanwhile, Zhirinovsky is confident that the best way to protect Russian investors is to persuade them invest elsehwere.
On the way to a plenary meeting of the State Duma Zhirinovsky appeared before the media wearing a conservative dark suit. He explained he had decided to be dressed this way “as a sign of mourning for the Republic of Cyprus, for the Eurozone, for private property, for the Schengen area and for the European Union.”
“We see the bourgeois democracy steam ahead towards dictatorship at full throttle,” he concluded.
At the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on Saturday morning the Cypriot authorities agreed on an unprecedented bailout to save Cyprus from default. The news the account holders in Cyprus will be required to pay a one-off tax on their deposits shocked not only Cypriot depositors and international investors, but also experts. Bank clients with less than 100,000 euros may have to pay a 6.75.% levy, while those with bigger deposits would face a 9.9% tax. None of the previous aid programs for any other country of the euro area envisaged such a measure. There is no doubt that this will provoke capital outflow from Cyprus and a new wave of crisis in Europe and undermine investors' trust in the Eurozone as such.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the EU finance ministers conference on Monday evening that the Eurogroup had let Nicosia raise a one-off tax on deposits over 100,000 euros and lower it on those below that level, provided Cyprus would raise 5.8 bln in the end.