Cyprus, as its President Nicos Anastasiades predicted but no one outside Cyprus quite believed would happen, has resoundingly defied the will of the Eurozone in failing to surrender a single Parliamentary vote to a diktat to haircut depositors to save its number two bank, whose failure would in all likelihood bring down Cyprus’s entire banking system. The members of the President’s own party abstained despite his resigned support for the deal. And mind you, this was after the terms revised to allow for deposits under €20,000 to be spared.
The EU was utterly unprepared for this rebellion. Heretofore, threat of withholding of funds and financial armageddon were sufficient to bring legislatures and national leaders to heel. Anastasiades, by contrast, didn’t even try to keep Parliament voting until the results changed. The finance minister tendered his resignation as an admission of failure but Anastasiades rejected it and has him negotiating with the Russians, at a minimum to restructure a €2.5 billion loan from 2011 but clearly to see if Russia will ride in to the rescue.