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De Standaard - Belgium | Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dangerous game with the euro

Behind the withdrawn decision to make Cyprus's small savers share the cost of the bank bailout lies a dangerous gambler mentality, the liberal daily De Standaard warns: "The obvious explanation for this decision is that the ECB and Euro Group are run by financial amateurs. People who didn't realise last weekend that the decision would undermine people's trust in the banking systems of other weak Eurozone countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. … But apparently what happened was that the ECB threatened that it would let Cyprus's banks collapse, leaving the country to pay the consequences on its own. … So it's plausible that Europe's financial bosses took a calculated risk with Cyprus, which has an unrestrained banking sector but represents less than half a percent of Europe's economic output. The message was that the ECB won't give savers an unlimited guarantee. The fact that the levy has now been scrapped for small savers is a relief. But our euro is being guarded over by gamblers, if not by bunglers."

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