Former President Demetris Christofias has become one such focus of the people’s anger.
Lucious Petrou, a retired local farmer says, ”Imagine the timing of Christofias resigning only five weeks ago, and then our banks closing their doors three weeks later?”
“Our Communist President came into power with a 1 billion euro surplus and left with what will be a 17.5 billion euro debt to the international bankers. Where is he now?”
Most residents are confident that Christofias will be dragged into the dock during the upcoming judicial inquiry into the banking collapse.
Of course, that’s the big question on everyone’s minds: why Cyprus? Why now? Social Democrat and avowed communist Demetris Christofias came to power in 2008 through a coalition government, after campaigning on the populist platform of the “reunification of Cyprus”, bringing the Greek and Turkish sides together in a bi-zonal federal state. The people liked the idea, but instead they got an economic meltdown.
PHOTO: Divided Cyprus – Capital Nicosia dreams on one day reuniting the Greek and Turkish Cypriots again.
Other shadowy players in this story mentioned in the cafes of Nicosia include the USA, who with the help of Henry Kissenger, were the architects of the Turkish invasion in 1974 and masters of the IMF today. Like the British, the US also have a military presence on the island to go with their 300 plus other bases and installations scattered throughout Turkey. Many Cypriots believe that the US have been using their multi-lateral institutions like the IMF to kick Russian influence – and money out of Cyprus, and thus, out of Europe. There are an estimated 50,000 Russians living in Cyprus, concentrated around the city of Limassol, along with many off-shore corporations, and hundreds of thousands more coming to visit year-round. If the US, or the EU wanted to lean on Russia – particularly in Syria, then this would be the first place to start.
We also discovered that there are also 30,000 plus Chinese who have established a burgeoning European beachhead in nearby Pathos, and one would expect that there were at least a few hundred Chinese millionaires, or billionaires, who took a sizable haircut too this week – but you won’t find that one in the mainstream media.
One other name kept coming up again, and again, as we combed the back streets of the old town in Nicosia. His name is Andreas Vgenopoulos, the Greek tycoon and chairman of the controversial Marfin Investment Group, and the man who inflated the now failed Laiki Bank’s financial balloon – which was doomed to pop three weeks ago, taking the whole of the Cyprus economy down with it.
The story behind his inflated success and failure is a bizarre Ménage à trois between Dubai, Athens and Nicosia. It appears that Mr Vgenopoulos steered a massive ponzi scheme which attracted the usual suspect crowd of high-flying financiers, naive and corrupt politicians and overpaid government bureaucrats, who flocked to his over-cooked honey pot of accessible capital backed up the same junk bonds and overvalued paper which brought down Cyprus’s northern EU neighbor Greece only 2 years earlier. By the time Cypriot