Most Popular
1. Banking Crisis is Stocks Bull Market Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
2.The Crypto Signal for the Precious Metals Market - P_Radomski_CFA
3. One Possible Outcome to a New World Order - Raymond_Matison
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Apple AAPL Stock Trend and Earnings Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI, Stocks, and Gold Stocks – Connected After All - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Stock Market CHEAT SHEET - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.US Debt Ceiling Crisis Smoke and Mirrors Circus - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Silver Price May Explode - Avi_Gilburt
10.More US Banks Could Collapse -- A Lot More- EWI
Last 7 days
Bitcoin Crypto Bubble Mania! - 4th Mar 2024
US Interest Rates - When WIll the Fed Pivot - 1st Mar 2024
S&P Stock Market Real Earnings Yield - 29th Feb 2024
US Unemployment is a Fake Statistic - 29th Feb 2024
U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - 29th Feb 2024
What a Breakdown in Silver Mining Stocks! What an Opportunity! - 29th Feb 2024
Why AI will Soon become SA - Synthetic Intelligence - The Machine Learning Megatrend - 29th Feb 2024
Keep Calm and Carry on Buying Quantum AI Tech Stocks - 19th Feb 24
How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - 17th Feb 24
Why Rising Shipping Costs Won't Cause Inflation - 17th Feb 24
Intensive 6 Week Stock Market Elliott Wave Training Course - 17th Feb 24
INFLATION and the Stock Market Trend - 17th Feb 24
GameStop (GME): 88% Shellacking Yet No Lesson Learned - 17th Feb 24
Nick Millican Explains Real Estate Investment in a Changing World - 17th Feb 24
US Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 7th Feb 24
Stocks Bull Market Commands It All For Now - 7th Feb 24
Financial Markets Narrative Nonsense - 7th Feb 24
Gold Price Long-Term Outlook Could Not Look Better - 7th Feb 24
Stock Market QE4EVER - 7th Feb 24
Learn How to Accumulate and Distribute (Trim) Stock Positions to Maximise Profits - Investing 101 - 5th Feb 24
US Exponential Budget Deficit - 5th Feb 24
Gold Tipping Points That Investors Shouldn’t Miss - 5th Feb 24
Banking Crisis Quietly Brewing - 5th Feb 24
Stock Market Major Market lows by Calendar Month - 4th Feb 24
Gold Price’s Rally is Normal, but Is It Really Bullish? - 4th Feb 24
More Problems in US Regional Banking System: Where There's Fire There's Smoke - 4th Feb 24
New Hints of US Election Year Market Interventions & Turmoil - 4th Feb 24
Watch Consumer Spending to Know When the Fed Will Cut Interest Rates - 4th Feb 24
Blue Skies Ahead As Stock Market Is Expected To Continue Much Higher - 31st Jan 24
What the Stock Market "Fear Index" VIX May Be Signaling - 31st Jan 24
Stock Market Trend Forecast Review - 31st Jan 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Could Cyprus Banking Crisis Trigger a War?

Politics / Eurozone Debt Crisis Mar 22, 2013 - 11:50 AM GMT

By: LewRockwell


Eric Margolis writes: Realizing they will never be a world power, the Cypriots have decided to settle for being a world nuisance. ~ George Mikes, Hungarian writer

Cyprus is a big pain in the neck for one and all. Its banks are bust due to reckless lending to Greece. The sunny island is a beehive of tax evasion, money laundering, dodgy trade and espionage.

Now, the threatened bankruptcy of Cyprus has triggered the latest European financial crisis.

Russian businessmen and the Russian Mafia have some 30 billion euros stashed away in Cyprus. Russians make up the second largest biggest cohort of Greek Cyprus’ 869,000 people. Some 260,000 ethnic Turks live in the isolated Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which no one but Turkey recognizes.

A 10 billion euro EU bailout is in the works. But the Germans, who will have to fund most of the rescue, are loathe to rescue the Russian mob, and who can blame them?

So the Germans seem set on punishing the wayward Greek Cypriotes and their Russian pals by trying to impose a tax on local bank deposits. This ham-handed plan triggered outrage and fear across Europe, and may ignite a run on banks in Cyprus and Greece. Moscow is furious.

But there’s much more to the Cyprus crisis than its dubious banks. Cyprus has bedeviled Europe and world diplomacy since 1974, then Greek Cypriot far rightists staged a coup and sought union – or "enosis" – with mainland Greece. Turkey promptly intervened with 30,000 troops to protect Turkish Cypriots in the north. Many Greeks fled or were expelled to the south.

Europe and the UN have been trying to sort out the Cyprus mess ever since. After decades of mind-numbing negotiations, former UN chief Kofi Annan proposed a sensible deal in 2004 for a Greek-Turkish federation. Turks accepted, but Greek Cypriots blocked it. Britain, which has two important air bases in Cyprus, backed the status quo.

In the same year, the EU committed the grave error of admitting Cyprus as a member without first insisting that Greek Cypriots agree to a peace deal and Greek-Turkish federation.

Northern Cyprus was left in limbo while the south became part of the EU, assuring the island’s ugly dispute would be come part of the European Union. Cyprus should never have been admitted to the EU.

Europeans who opposed Turkish membership in the EU used Cyprus as a pretext to delay admission, infuriating Turkey.

After decades of patient work developing normal relations after centuries of conflict, Greece and Turkey are again up in arms again over Cyprus. Their dangerous problem of overlapping air and sea claims in the Aegean has revived - just when Greece must slash its bloated military budget.

It gets worse. Very large underwater gas deposits were recently discovered between Cyprus and Israel. Both Cyprus and Israel, who are to jointly develop them, could become energy exporters. They have become very close allies.

"Not so fast" say Cyprus’ Turkish minority. ‘That gas also belongs in part to us!" Ankara insists the gas must be shared and has sent ships to back its claim.

Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria are also advancing claims to the "Aphrodite" gas field off Cyprus -shades of the tense South China Sea. But most likely to clash are the Turks and Israelis.

Turkey is still boiling mad over the Israeli seizure of a Gaza bound relief ship in 2010 and the killing of nine Turks.

Israel has emerged as a major backer of the embattled Greek government, using its influence in Washington and financial clout.

Russia, increasingly interested in the Greece-Cyprus-Syria region, says it will keep a nine-ship squadron in the eastern Mediterranean as Moscow’s worries over Syria, now under western siege, grow by the day. Moscow is hinting that it mighty bail out Cypriot banks in exchange for the lion’s share of the "Aphrodite" gas fields.

All the elements are in place for a very nasty, dangerous multi-party confrontation in the eastern Mediterranean. The EU could have pre-emptied this danger by using a bank rescue of Cyprus to force Greek Cypriots to make a sensible peace deal with their Turkish neighbors. And by forcing Cyprus to fairly share the offshore gas bonanza with neighboring states. But it probably won’t.

Eric Margolis [send him mail] is contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada. He is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

Copyright © 2013 Eric Margolis

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in