BERLIN, March 17 Germany's finance minister said
on Sunday Berlin would have respected the bank deposit guarantee
on small savers' insured deposits but the Cypriot government,
European Commission and European Central Bank (ECB) decided
In a radical departure from previous aid packages, euro zone
finance ministers agreed on Saturday that Cyprus savers should
forfeit up to 9.9 percent of their deposits in return for a 10
billion euro bailout to the island, which has been financially
crippled by its exposure to neighbouring Greece.
The decision, announced on Saturday morning, stunned
Cypriots and caused a run on cash points. Electronic transfers
"It was the position of the German government and the
International Monetary Fund that we must get a considerable part
of the funds that are necessary for restructuring the banks from
the banks owners and creditors - that means the investors,"
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told public
broadcaster ARD in an interview.
"But we would obviously have respected the deposit guarantee
for accounts up to 100,000," he said. "But those who did not
want a bail-in were the Cypriot government, also the European
Commission and the ECB, they decided on this solution and they
now must explain this to the Cypriot people."
Schaeuble said the Cypriot business model, of attracting
capital with low taxes and favourable legal regulation, had
proven to be unsustainable. But it had been "imperative in the
interest of defending our common currency" to offer Cyprus aid.
(Reporting By Sarah Marsh; Editing by Stephen Powell)