LISBON, March 18 The decision to seize money
from bank deposits in Cyprus as part of an international bailout
lacked "common sense" and risked undermining confidence in the
banking system, Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva said on
The terms of Cyprus' 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout
by the European Union, announced over the weekend, broke with
previous practice that depositors' savings were sacrosanct.
The news was closely watched in Portugal, which negotiated
its own 78-billion-euro bailout in 2011.
"Europe is taking a very dangerous path ... Sometimes I
think common sense appears to have migrated elsewhere," Cavaco
Silva said during a visit to Rome, in remarks aired on
Portugal's SIC television.
"It's in all the books that when there is lack of confidence
in a banking system, there is no country or nearly no country
that escapes, because confidence is one of the pillars of a
financial system," Cavaco Silva added.
The role of presidents in Portugal is mostly symbolic. But
they have the power to veto laws and dissolve parliament in
Under Portugal's deal, 12 billion euros were set aside for
its banks but were not fully used. Portugal has already slashed
spending and sharply raised taxes under its bailout.
Portugal's central bank governor, Carlos Costa, who is also
a European Central Bank governing council member, earlier on
Monday said the Cypriot levy would not be replicated in other
European countries, including Portugal.
"Our depositors can feel relaxed, secure and confident," he