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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Attack on ordinary depositors undermines spirit of EU legislation

PROPOSALS TO force small savers in Cyprus to contribute to bailing out the nations’ banks via a levy on exiting savings in exchange for bank shares fly in the face of Green proposals for a EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme, London Green MEP Jean Lambert has said.

“The attack on ordinary depositors in the context of Cyprus’ bail-out is outrageous and must be urgently corrected,” she said.

“Small depositors should be last in the line of fire in any bank restructuring – especially when bank bond-holders are seemingly unaffected.

“This is the guiding logic behind EU legislation providing for national deposit guarantee schemes, as well as draft legislation currently under consideration on an EU deposit guarantee scheme.

“While the proposed depositors’ levy may be legally consistent with the existing legislation, it is a cynical ploy, which totally defies the spirit of the rules and their raison d’être.”

“Instead of hitting out at soft targets, like pensioners and ordinary citizens, who bear little or no responsibility for the situation, cowardly EU finance ministers should be targeting those in the private sector who have a legitimate contribution to make. Any fair burden sharing would naturally include all bondholders.”