Cyprus Banks Reopen Following Two Weeks Closure Under Armed Guard - Live Webcasts

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago Cyprus banks reopened, under heavy guard, without signs of a stampede. However, since as was made clear yesterday, all bank branches will serve merely as glorified ATMs, allowing for a maximum €300 cash withdrawal and practically no outbound cash transactions allowed, there has been no stampede, and no lines as the bulk of services provided legally are merely what one can find at an automated teller machine. The question is whether the five shipping container full of ECB cash delivered last night into the country will be enough to cover the cash-strapped public's demands, and for how long.

A picture courtesy of Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on the ground in Larnaca captures quite well that while one may not have "stampedes" at least not yet as the banks still are stocked with cash, the lines most certainly are there:

The WSJ writes: "Cyprus's banks were bracing for a stampede of nervous savers as lenders on the island reopened after a two-week long hiatus. But on the streets of the Cypriot capital early Thursday, there was little sign of panic with only a handful of depositors--mostly pensioners--waiting for the banks to formally reopen at noon (1000 GMT) local time. Gregos Hadjisophoklis, a retiree, was queuing outside the central branch of the Bank of Cyprus Pcl, the island's largest lender, since nine in the morning, unaware that the bank would open later than its usual business hours. But he was prepared to wait: he badly needed cash to pay his rent and buy food. "I have to get money because I have no [cash] card. It's been very difficult," Mr. Hadjisophoklis said as he stood in the pedestrian area in front of the bank astride the city's main Ledra Street shopping district. "There may be no one here at the moment but it's early; more will come." Naturally, the full impact of the reopening will not be made apparent for days, when the true liquidity situation of the local system is exposed, however for the time being no panic is evident as the local government has managed to avert a chaotic crisis and loss of all confidence.

AFP adds:

Cyprus banks have reopened under armed guard after a long lockdown, with harsh curbs on withdrawals to stop depositors punished by a eurozone bailout from draining the island's coffers dry.

Bank tellers urged customers not to take out their frustrations when the doors swung open at noon (local time) on Thursday for the first time in 12 days, while authorities trucked in shipping containers full of euros under heavy security.

World markets were jittery over the crisis, which has seen capital controls imposed for the first time by a eurozone economy in order to prevent financial meltdown after the 10-billion-euro EU-IMF rescue package.

Most banks in Nicosia had between one and three guards posted at their entrances early morning, some of them carrying weapons - an alien sight in the generally peaceful east Mediterranean tourist destination.

Banks opened unusually late to allow time to prepare for the new cash curbs and are set to stay open for six hours until 6pm (local time).

Cypriot authorities appealed on television late Wednesday for people to give priority to the elderly as many did not have credit cards and had to withdraw their money over the counter.

Authorities imposed severe restrictions to prevent a run on the banks that could wreak havoc on the island's already fragile economy, with daily withdrawals limited to 300 euros.

The restrictions - which last for a week before they are reviewed - also ban the cashing of cheques and ordered those travelling abroad not to take more than 1,000 euros out of the country.

Under a deal agreed in Brussels on Monday, Cyprus must raise 5.8 billion euros to qualify for the full 10-billion-euro loan from the troika of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Depositors with more than 100,000 euros in the top two banks - Bank of Cyprus and Laiki or 'Popular Bank' - face losing a large chunk of their money.

Five shipping containers reportedly filled with billions of euros were delivered to the central bank late Wednesday, an AFP photographer said. A helicopter and police cars accompanied the cash convoy.

Banking employees union ETYK said staff were ready to go back to work but urged the public not to blame them for the tight controls.

Unlike in other European countries Cypriot tellers are not housed behind glass barriers.

"We must all keep in mind that as bank employees, we are not responsible but on the contrary colleagues are themselves victims of criminal acts and/or omissions that led to this destruction and many are in a very tragic situation," said an ETYK union statement.

* * *

And for those who would rather avoid the media spin, and see for themselves the bank lines in Cyprus without narration, here are two live webcasts, one from RT and one from local Mega TV:


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Super Broccoli's picture

when the head of your central bank is named "Panicos", it's hard not to !

Ghordius's picture

funny to see that EUR cash travels in containers - it reminds me how in the Weimar Hyperinflation period assaults on cash transports were very common - until it wasn't worthwhile anymore

francis_sawyer's picture

So does this mean that the wheelbarrow token piece in the Monopoly set is going to be replaced with the "Container" token?

Ghordius's picture

A few words to be added to the modern financial vocabulary


- enronized: describes when a company has hidden liabilities together with rotten assets mixed with dubious derivatives that are tailored for off-balance sheet vehicles. Deemed legal, just don't get caught or go near bankrupcty


- corzined: describes when a company "just notices" that customer accounts have "vaporized". Legal if you are too big to be prosecuted


- bernankized: when a global reserve currency goes to NIRP, and so saving accounts are depressed - don't call it stealing, then it's for the greater good. Legal beyond doubt. see "NIRPed"


- diesel-boomed: when eurozoners offer to help reorganize rotten eurozone banks with fresh funds (from tax-payer money, of course) against bank stocks if-and-only-if part of the cost is shared by "internal assets" - which can be even deposits above 100k. Legal in the eurozone - though against all Anglo American (Common Law) legal traditions, which would expect a judiciary involvement, a consideration for precedent which is the very basis of Common Law, and seem to express a preference for alternatives, see: "enronized", "corzined" and "bernakized"

Sandmann's picture

Let's think PARMALAT.......or perhaps BANCO AMBROSIANO......or even BCCI

Ghordius's picture

for Parmalat: "ownerized, Italian style" - when a company that was previously family-owned suddently discovers that it was being "enronized" by the previous owners after going public

Ghordius's picture

for Banco Ambrosiano: see "financial suicide": when bankers are found hanging from a bridge in London and it was clearly a suicide. just don't mention that it was impossible for someone to hang himself voluntarily without getting wet in the process

Ghordius's picture

BCCI? you mean Bank of Credit and Commerce International? I'm not familiar with that. I mean there was this involvement of the Bank of England, so I suppose it was... legal?

Disenchanted's picture

Don't forget Nugan Hand, Riggs Bank, Castle Bank and Trust, Franklin National Bank, Continental Bank of Chicago, etc., etc., etc....

swiss chick's picture

BCCI - Banks of crooks and criminals international (it used to be funny), now they all are BCCI...

Go Tribe's picture

I noticed in a news report this morning that some Cypriots were keeping their deposits in their banks because it's the patriotic thing to do - they wanted to help Cyprus.

That will be perverted in the U.S. as the reason for confiscating a lot of wealth from us, gold, silver, cash, etc. Those of us wanting to preserve our assets will be labelled unpatriotic and against the common "good".

Perfect obamastrategy.

francis_sawyer's picture



Yesterday, because I was truly bored [perhaps to an overly masochistic degree]... I went to see the new movie "Olympus Has Fallen"

What a goddamned piece of garbage... Like, 10x worse than 'Air Force One' garbage... There's one fucking scene where the [North Koreans ~ they're the scary tear out wrists in the movie], are dragging the Secretary of Defense [who is a woman in the movie], to go beat the shit out of her or something... So they're dragging her along the floor & she's, not praying or anything, what's she doing?... Fuckin reciting the 'Pledge of Allegiance' [of flag fame]...

Has fucking "Oscar" written all over it [rolls eyes]...

Chupacabra-322's picture

YuP, just like Zero Dark Thirty.  Won the Oscar for best Psyche Warfare PsyOp Film of the Year.

Jam packed with all the desensitizing, conditioning and programing anyone could want.  Torture, Torture and even more TORTURE. 

TeamDepends's picture

It's what pays the rent in Hollywood these days.

fiftybagger's picture

Yeah, we saw that piece of garbage too.  My wife had to keep waking me up.  Pathetic.

dark pools of soros's picture

why you guys waste your time with the propaganda stuff..  there are some cool things that still come out or just get netflix, etc and watch stuff from the 50's

vulcanraven's picture

No shit, literally all I watch nowadays is The League on Netflix. Haven't had cable TV in 3 years, feels good man.

edb5s's picture

I know he's a jew (sorry Francis), but I couldn't help be reminded of this skit when reading about the woman SecDef.

francis_sawyer's picture

I don't care about the fact that, in the movie, they had a woman as Sec. of Defense... I only mentioned it because all the characters in the movie were the same claptrap MIXTURE of carefully placed blacks [Morgan Freeman plays the Speaker of the House ~ who has to come in & save the day], asians, & latinos [The VP in this movie is a latino] & the head of the Secret Service Agency is, of course, a black woman... If you remember the movie 'Air Force One'... Glenn Close [woman] was VP & all the rest was the usual salt & peppering...

I didn't bother to see Zero Dark Thirty because I was afraid I'd find myself tearing my hair out...

Thos OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN is such unadulterated bullshit it isn't funny... The hilarious thing is that in REAL LIFE we spend gazillions on Homeland Security, military, paramilitary, secret service, & whatever else alphabet soup... Yet here, a North Korean gang [literally with towel masks ala Palestinians], takes over the White House in 13 minutes flat...

I guess we're not spending enough...

Chupacabra-322's picture

Yea right, and three jets just managed to break threw the most secure air defenses in the world on the morning of Sept 11, 2001. 

People will truly believe just about anything. 

francis_sawyer's picture

LOL ~ Chupacabra... Looks like the 'HS' comment above must have triggered the alphabet soup troll monitors [because somebody junked your, clearly, patently false insight on 9/11]...


@edb5s [above]

Why should I hate on Ali G whether he's a jew or not?

I've clearly stated umpteen times on this site that:

1. It has zero to do with religion

2. What appears to be 'jew bashing' [to people who do not look beyond the surface of my comments], is, instead, CURIOSITY as to why the 'POWER NODES' in the burgeoning global community [before it becomes UNBURGEONING], which are; banking, political lobbying, & MSM, are controlled by jews to mathematically impossible demographic ratios...

When are people going to get that through their cabesas?


So, there is no reason for me to hate on Ali G [because he's a jew]... You know ~ like in a way that some posters simply junk all francis_sawyer comments blindly whether or not there's any TRUTH to the comment...

I fucking swear... I could type... "The sky is blue, the birds are singing, & I truly wish you all a wonderful day", and somewhere in AIPAC's computer command center an algo would be triggered to junk the comment...


It just dawned on me... The garb that these North Koreans wore in this movie made them look exactly like the 'terrorists' from the 1972 Munich Olympics... I mean fucking EXACTLY...

vulcanraven's picture

Speaking of national security....


With all of the money wasted on monitoring US citizens, protecting its borders from "terrorists", and militarizing our police force.... how in the FUCK was some nerd able to purchase a semi automatic rifle, ammunition, body armor, tear gas, and bomb making material—OVER THE INTERNET, and pull off a mass shooting in a movie theater without setting off ONE red flag to the CIA/NSA/FBI/DHS/Utah Data Center/etc?


Yet a father posts a picture of his son holding an AR-15 on Facebook and his house gets raided, an ex-marine posts a few anti government rants on his Facebook and his he gets arrested, lather, rinse, repeat.


I seriously can't take much more of this shit.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Why do you watch shit like that?

I realize it's easy to be lulled into the world of fantasy/escapism at times like these, but that's the easy way out.

You should've kept it real and gone to see the documentary ZERO DARK KNIGHT THIRTY


francis_sawyer's picture

I know I know...


It was a matinee & I was away from home & had 3 hours to kill in the afternoon before an appointment... It was the only movie that the hours fit into the timeframe [besides ~ I knew it was going to be shit beforehand, but I was kind of curious just EXACTLY the kind of shit they are feeding people these days]... It was kind of like getting a craving for a McDonalds cheeseburger...

BLOTTO's picture

'Keep friends close and your enemies closer'...because sometimes their is important information from that shit they spew at us where we think its completely useless...but actually gives us clues for 'those of us in the know' on maybe what to do or not do next...


Not to mention we are all posioned a bit...its too hard to fully leave the matrix as we all participate a lil in it...i.e., watch movies, eat some junk food, follow sports, etc...


But everything is occult these days...vampires, monsters zombies, magic, talking salt and pepper shakers - its ALL fanatasy...all these kids growing up are being indoctrinated into the fanatasy world...maybe becasue the reality they have provided us is the illusion...and the fanatasy is the reality...

css1971's picture

Vampires, werewolves, zombies and the like are all representations of humanity. They all exist within society. You can make your own mind up who is what.

francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah ~ I guess 'bitcoins' exist within society along with gold & silver


You can make up your own mind what is what...

Scarlett's picture

wow, just reached $95.  what is going on?

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Ghordius,

That's some funny stuff.  I'm laughing my ass off. 

What happened in Cyprus was confiscation of capital (in Cyprus banks) by the EU to offset losses (i.e., the EU/ECB knows the Cyprus debt is unsustainable and they won't be paid back). When they confiscated the depositor's money, they set an ugly precedent. They intend to use this "method" going forward as they continue to bail-out other countries (most likely Spain, Italy or Greece next).

Time-out: Quick reality check. Banks need depositors. They take those deposits and leverage them (as they should) putting that money to work. We all know the scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" where the depositors want their money and James Stewart talks them out of it – right ?

Well, if banks start confiscating their depositor's money – people won't deposit their money in the banks anymore. Then – as deposits decrease – the banks [that are basically over ratio or insolvent] begin to collapse and need further bail-outs, etc. It won't take much to get this snowball rolling with the Euro and that's what you just saw in Cyprus - a small peek behind this curtain at a potential trigger event.

Get your money out of the Euro !!!  The Global Criminal Cabal (Bankster/Intelligence) Crime Syndicate hard at work. 

Very Chilling Times Ahead.

Ghordius's picture

as I'm hinting further below, in Common Law precedent is very important - I'm not a legal expert but I understand that any "new" legal situation is typically with involvement of the judiciary

reactions to this story on the continent were completely different than those in the Anglo American world - this is a fact

as I'm writing here until my fingers bleed (well, not really) we continental europeans have a different legal setup - at the end we are mostly previously revolutionary republics

as I understand the thing the Cypriot debt was never an issue - it's all about the banks - compare with a different story like Ireland that was big enough to bail Anglo-Irish out

the way I see it the Criminal Cabal is telling us all to avoid all things EUR - also because those methods like "diesel-booming" are not "nice" to banks at all - they prefer to see you "corzined"

Chupacabra-322's picture

 "they prefer to see you "corzined"

That's pretty Funny,

thing is, we prefer to "See" them DEAD. 

Chump's picture

Death would be a gift compared to what I'd like to see.

sumo's picture

"Well, if banks start confiscating their depositor's money – people won't deposit their money in the banks anymore."

People won't have a choice. Bans on large cash transactions will spread. Bitcoin will be crushed before it becomes significant. Wages, salaries, pensions benefits will be forced to go through the banking system. And then the predators will turn their attention to gold and silver coins ... BOOM goes the Dieselmite.

It's all coming along rather nicely.

Chupacabra-322's picture

The Gobal Criminal Cabal (Bankster/Intelligence) Crime Syndicate envisions a One World Currency anyway. In the meantime they're out stealing and taking money off the streets.

Problem is, the One World Currency is going to be a cashless one controled by the Authoritarian Totalitarian Police State Tyranny. 

Ghordius's picture

the BRICs would for sure welcome a One World Currency - because it would displace the USD hegemony

but the Criminal Cabal? the way I see it they love the current setup, and profit heavily from it

Chupacabra-322's picture

"the way I see it they love the current setup, and profit heavily from it"

It's not a "setup" per se, but a "System" and they own the System.  Especially the Elected Global Criminal Leaders and the Court System they also own. 

Add the Drug Distribution via CIA and money laudering through the TBTFB etc...  and indeed you have a very profitable System.

A Feudal System.  We're just the Slaves. 

Anasteus's picture

If this all were to take place there would be no shorter way to their own suicide. Go over history.

Disenchanted's picture

New entry: Cypriotized...

Ghordius's picture

I personally find diesel-boomed has a better sound - it's after all a template, isn't it? ;-)

Ghordius's picture


Meanwhile the greatest anguish in the English-speaking financial press (which I initially understood as 100% propaganda until I realized that it's really based on a completely different cultural and legal view on the matter) has been for: 

- the discussion of the possibility of having the "sacrosanct" smaller-than-100k accounts touched. Here the later reaction in the eurozone parliaments was quite unanimous: they should not be touched and they were not touched - and yet we had all to witness the incredible scene of the Cypriot delegation asking this question to the Cypriot parliament


- how badly the account holders were "robbed" (a word that is not allowed in the modern financial vocabulary). No mention of the fact that this money is deemed to be exchanged for bank stocks - the common assumption is that it's being "corzined" - see also "vaporized"


rumours that the Cypriot parliament has been bypassed by "eurocrats" - or not been asked at all - which is simply not true, see hereherehere,here, and here and here - the unpalatable truth is that the Cypriot parliament passed all necessary laws before every round of negotiations


- new discussions headed by Prof. Dr. Krugman how Cyprus would be soo much better off by leaving the eurozone - a question that has either little to do with the current Cyprus situation involving it's banks or would imply that Cyprus should forcibly exchange the current euro-liabilities of their banks into Cypriot Pounds - which would beg the question if account holders would be better off by such a classic "corralito" manouver


chubbar's picture

I find the whole discussion interesting as well. Here's my understanding of what happened and would be interested in whether or not I have some facts wrong?

The banks, which I understand are private institutions, took depositor money and invested them in Greek Bonds that subsequently lost a lot or all of their value. A side question is whether these bankers were ordered or strongly advised to do this by the EU? This seems to be a pretty blatant case of malfeasance either way.

So, the banks lost the money and there is no money to pay depositors, it's gone (or most of it). What is the general consensus of how a private bank should face this situation? First, the bondholders and equity holders take the write downs all the way to zero if necessary. I think we all agree on that.

What happens, or should happen then? Insurance? With what reserves? There are no insurance reserves that cover this amount, just like here in the U.S. Here in the U.S. the FED "could" step in and print the money, but not in Cyprus apparently. So, without insurance reserves the decision is whether the remaining depositors take the hit or the gov't steps in with additional taxes on folks completely unrelated to the bank (or a combination, which is what I think they are doing). I say taxes because the gov't doesn't have any money and the money it does have comes from taxes which is really just money they steal from the general public.  In this case they were intitially going to spread the pain by making all depositors "donate" to the cause. That changed after public outrage, to them taking the money just from the folks with over 100K in deposits and essentially making those depositors cover the loss of the under 100K depositors. It's just a case of who they are taking the money from to cover the bad bets of the bankers as I see it.

I don't see any discussion of the culpability of the bankers, claw backs of bonuses (if any were paid) and/or holding them personally responsible in any way what so ever. Assuming that the bonds/equity holders go to zero (and they should but who knows the reality of what they are doing here), I don't see what other pot of money they can go after other then the depositors? What am I missing here?

Ghordius's picture

malfeasance: 100% correct

while the EU is usually described as a "monoithic bloc" the whole thing was covered by an EU law asking all member countries to set up an insurance - making a national matter and making Cyprus too small to have anything sensible in place for such a huge banking system - and making it too small to bail the banks out through new sovereign debt (like Ireland did)

I still think that the "outrage proposal" was somehow constructed and later well exploited - I have no clue by whom but it could not have been done without the help of the (British)-Cypriot finance minister and the Cypriot President

but the current "solution" is after all a restructuration of bank liabilities - "oh, here, you had cash, now you have cash and bank stocks, aren't you happy?"

jdelano's picture

Guys, if you thought Krugman was bad enough, check out the new Yeswoman Bernank dug up to replace him....


I wonder sometimes, are these people really insane powermongers, or are they really just this fucking stupid?  

mdtrader's picture

Non event this. China down 2.6% overnight and South Korea cut its GDP forecast from 3% to 2.3%. Eventually the slowdown around the world will hit US earnings numbers.

exi1ed0ne's picture

What do you mean eventually?  Those numbers are so fluffed and pulled forward there better damn be magical unicorns and leprichans spending like mad by Q3-4.

lolmao500's picture

Wanna bet the ``one week`` capital controls last at least a month?

Sudden Debt's picture

well... nobody really mentions it but...






zerozulu's picture




Like we have TSA here, kind of!!!