Expats fear for their savings due to EU Cyprus savings grab

Published:  21 Mar at 6 PM
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Even although the Cypriot parliament unanimously rejected the EU and ECB’s attempted savings grab, the crisis is continuing, with expats across the EU fearing for their savings.

With Russian interest in bailing out the bank of Cyprus in return for permission to explore the recently-discovered natural gas deposits now on the back burner, there is still no bailout for the bankrupt island. Its economy is on the floor due to its disastrous investments in Greek bonds, and its banks are still closed, leaving expats and nationals alike unable to access day-to-day cash.

The EU and ECB’s unprecedented actions are sending shivers down the spines of expats in unstable Spain, Italy and Portugal as well as hitting into the global economy. As part of an attempt to stem a run on the banks when they do open, the Cypriot authorities are attempting to close down internet loopholes which permit transfers to overseas banks.

Pensions due to expat retirees on the island are still being blocked, with pensioners in Spain, Italy and Portugal becoming concerned that their savings may be up for EU grabs in the future. Kleinwort Benson’s chief investment officer, Mouhammed Choukier believes the move has set the stage for similar savings grabs elsewhere in the troubled EU.

Choukeir suggests that expats with money in EU banks overseas should consider putting their savings into tightly-controlled banking systems. He adds that the Cyprus scandal is set in uncharted territory for the EU, advising overseas savers to check statements by European finance ministers regularly and act if necessary.
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