The Cypriot opposition is demanding to have the identity of depositors who emptied their accounts before the bank restrictions revealed.
The controversy is served. In the early hours, a week last Saturday, when the Cyprus Government agreed the controversial tax on the country’s savers with the Eurogroup, the authorities in Nicosia decreed the freezing of bank transfers, thereby starting a system of strict capital control whose end is still not in sight. Likewise, over that weekend, in a move unprecedented in the Euro zone, Cyprus announced the start of banking restrictions, in other words, the closure of banks to avoid savers from massively withdrawing their deposits, commonly known as a bank run.
Nevertheless, some people had already been alerted to what was about to happen. According to the Cypriot press, politicians, civil servants, family members and allies of the government took their money out of the country a few days before the restrictions were announced. In total it is estimated that some 4.5 billion Euros were withdrawn from bank accounts over the previous week.
It is suspected that those closest to power were alerted to what was about to happen in the country. On this point opposition parties on Tuesday, during the transcendental vote about the country bailout, demanded that the Government publish a list of people and companies that closed their bank accounts at least seven days prior to the announcement of the banking restrictions.
In addition to Cypriot politicians, the warnings also reached the ears of some Russian oligarchs. Different sources would appear to show that wealthy Russians had withdrawn around 2 billion Euros from Cypriot banks before the measures were adopted.
Although there are no official statistics regarding this, financial sources point out that the unusual application of a tax on savers “filtered out. The bankers warned their largest clients and civil servants warned their families and friends.” As a result, “billions disappeared from accounts in a few days.”
According to recent official data, the total volume of Cypriot deposits was around 68 billion Euros at the end of January last year. Of this amount, 43 billion belonged to Cypriot residents, another 5 billion to savers from other countries of the Euro zone and some 21 billion came from other countries, mainly Russia.