“Despite the fact that the Cypriot economy did not have serious fiscal problems – for example its foreign debt is lower than Germany's – it was considered that there was no possibility for it to borrow on international markets. That is the excuse with which the Memorandum was imposed” Greek MEP Nikos Chountis told Parliament's economics committee today.

Chountis was speaking in a debate with European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn and European Central Bank executive board member Jörg Asmussen.

Nikos Chountis:

“We, in Greece, know all too well the catastrophic consequences of a memorandum on both the economic and social level.”

“Cyprus is the fourth Eurozone country that has to confront a memorandum and enter such surveillance.  We know that there are more countries to follow. Since September 2012 the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has a permanent presence and disposes of two main financial tools – loans for Stability and loans for the re-capitalisation of banks.” 

Chountis requested total accurate figures on financial support to Cyprus and whether Cyprus has the right to reimbursement, given its participation in the Greek bond “haircut” that cost the country around 4.5 billion Euros. He finished by questioning Rehn on the revenues from the privatisations of Cypriot state assets.

Yesterday, the GUE/NGL's Jürgen Klute quizzed Jeroen Dijsselbloem in the same committee where the Eurogroup chair faced significant pressure on the details of the lead up to the negotiations and formulation of the Cyprus financial plans.

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