According to Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, northern EU leaders realize they risk vast losses if they allow Cyprus, Greece or any other southern member to fail. To prevent this, they have resorted to extreme measures – even theft.
RT: Every bailout comes with strings attached. But can Cyprus afford the price the EU has set?
Nigel Farage: What is really happening here is we are having a reconcilable split between the North and the South of Europe. In the North of Europe – Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland – there are very strong political voices saying “We do not want to go on bailing out southern European countries.” And bear in mind that Cyprus is now the fifth country out of 17 that has needed to be bailed out. And that is why the Germans extracted the terms that they did. But I must say that even in my direst predictions in this parliament over the years about the way the EU bosses were behaving, never did I think that they would in a completely unprecedented manner resort to stealing money from people’s bank accounts.
RT: But is that because Europe can’t afford Cyprus to fail?
NF: Well, It can’t afford Cyprus to fail, it can’t afford Greece, Portugal, Spain or Ireland to fail. They know that once one country goes the whole deck of cards will come tumbling down. And countries like Germany will realize absolutely vast losses – possibly as much as one trillion euro.
So, they are prepared now to do literally anything to try to keep the Euro afloat. And that is why they have now resorted to what can only be described as theft.
Now they’ve done it in one country, they are quite capable of doing it in Italy, Spain, Portugal, or anywhere else.
And the message that sends to people who have got savings in banks in those countries – certainly if I was them is “get your money out while you can.”
RT: In 2010, almost twice as much British money went to Cyprus as transfers from Russia – according to the country’s official website. Haven’t you got a responsibility to safeguard your constituents’ interests there?
NG: The government has had nothing to say on that subject whatsoever. And what the government ought to do is to help the British people living down there – mostly pensioners.
But what the British government needs to do is to say to the hundreds of thousands Brits that are living Southern Spain, that “For goodness sake, get your money out of that country and have a monthly transfer to pay your bills. And that is what I’d like to see [Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer] George Osborne do in budget statement in the House of Commons tomorrow.
RT: And what sort of message is this sending to foreign investors? Essentially, are not they being taxed to cure a crisis they had no part in causing?
NG: Don’t invest in the Eurozone! Do not invest anywhere in Eurozone. You’ve got to be mad to do so, because it’s now run by people who don’t respect democracy, who don’t respect the rule of law, who don’t respect the basic principles upon which western civilization is supposed to be based.
I think that this German-dominated and led decision is the worst decision we’ve seen so far in this whole Eurozone crisis.
RT: Various EU leaders have said recently that they are not happy with the way tax havens work. Is something being done about that now?
NG: The EU has been unhappy about so-called tax havens for a very long time. Ironically, whilst continuing to turn a blind-eye to many activities that go on in Luxemburg. I mean Cyprus finds itself right now in a very difficult, desperate position. But I would say that it is better to officially go bankrupt, to default on international bond obligations. And to do that best to keep a banking industry and to keep some confidence in that country.