Last Saturday, Cyprus PM Michael Sarris agreed with the Troika to a one-off 9.9% levy imposed on all deposits over the insurance threshold of €100,000. For accounts below the insurance ceiling, the onetime tax will be of 6.75%, in order to raise €5.8 and fit the conditions to receive a bailout. Without a rescue, Cyprus would default and threaten to unravel investor’s confidence in the EU that has been fostered by ECB’s president Mario Draghi’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to shore up the currency bloc.
Market tumbled on Tuesday, when Cyprus Parliament rejected the levy, and since then markets have shaken on every single headline or rumor; zenith was reached today, with the Cyprus Central Bank menacing that was up to the Parliament to decide whether the country will stay or not in the euro.
In the meantime, the Cypriot parliament has been deliberating for over 12 hours, with loads of noise surrounding the possible outcome, and not much for real. The EUR/USD has traded accordingly jumping higher on news is a deal as underway and easing when things don’t look that bright. But if something, this is a week to forget about the pair behavior that has spent the week stuck in the 1.2880/1.3000 range, waiting for a clearer picture from the troubled country. At this point seems little will happen today before the weekly close, and tensions will extend over the weekend. More gaps could then be expected on next Sunday opening and another weekend fulfilled with wild headlines heating the wires.
Is hard to imagine Cyprus being the first country to leave the EU, but today that’s a possibility: a tiny one, but still possible. If the country decides to stands on its’ own and face the future outside Europe, the consequences for the country will be forgettable. But no doubts the whole continent will pay the price and a new era will become for the EU. Is time to consider if “whatever it takes” includes bending over Cyprus.