Cyprus has got no choice but to submit to Europe’s terms and request a bailout from the European Stability Mechanism (esm), Cypriot President Demetris Christofias announced December 4. The decision means that Cyprus “will effectively lose its sovereignty,” wrote Spiegel Online.
“I need to make it clear that it was not our choice to resort to the European Stability Mechanism,” the Cypriot president told the nation in a televised address. But Cyprus’s “dire situation” forced it to turn to Europe. He took the decision with “heartfelt pain,” he said. He told the public it would mean pain for them too—and exhorted them to face it with the same stoicism “as we did after 1974, when our country was almost completely destroyed by the Turkish invasion and occupation.”
“The price for the billions in emergency aid money is high,” wrote Spiegel Online. “The country will effectively lose its sovereignty.” The infamous troika—the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ecb) and the International Monetary Fund (imf)—will soon be in control.
Spiegel warned that in return for the bailout, the troika “will essentially take control of the Mediterranean island.”
The troika plans to dictate Cyprus’s tax rates, working hours for civil servants and even how officials travel internationally—it’s economy class from now on.
Christofias’s speech indicates that Cyprus is ready to sign the troika’s terms—the Memorandum of Understanding (mou). But Europe, moving at its usual glacial pace, hasn’t made up its mind on the final terms. That’s not expected to happen until late January.
It’s been obvious for a while that Cyprus would need a bailout. At first it looked like it would be able to negotiate a good deal. Unlike Greece, it had somewhere else it could turn for aid—Russia. With both Europe and Russia competing for influence, it looked like Cyprus could auction itself off to the lowest bidder.
But that didn’t get it far. The terms are slightly better than Greece’s. Cyprus will probably retain control of any oil and gas reserves—with a portion of the revenue going to pay off the debt. It will not be forced to sell off government assets, the way Greece was, unless things get worse.
But ultimately Cyprus has been forced to submit to terms it does not want because to it, the sum of money it needs is vast. The bailout is expected to be roughly equal to the entire annual output of its economy—that is, €17,500 per person. But to Europe’s bailout fund, the €17.5 billion needed is little more than pocket change, especially when compared with potential bailouts in Spain and Italy.
Now Cyprus seems all but certain to follow Greece down the road to becoming a European protectorate, or colony. It will be forced to do what Europe, and especially Germany, says—otherwise the funding gets pulled and its economy collapses.
In this respect, it’s in an even weaker state than Greece. A Greek collapse could still cause Germany some economic pain. Cyprus is so small that Germany would barely notice any loss.
And remember, Greece is on its second—and by some counts third—bailout. The troika will have plenty of opportunities to extract more concessions from Cyprus.
With radical Islam on the march, European strategists will be more interested in Cyprus than ever. Under Britain, the island was a vital base for projecting power into Egypt and the Levant. But Cyprus has been used as a military base long before the British Empire. King Peter i of Cyprus used his fleets to lead European armies to victory in Egypt and Lebanon.
As radical forces that could threaten Europe rise in these same areas, you can be sure Cyprus is on Europe’s radar.
Talking of which, Cyprus is a key radar station for monitoring the Middle East. “It has been joked that ‘a mosquito can’t take off in Tehran without the radar watchers in Cyprus knowing,’” wrote sometime Trumpet writer James Leigh and Predrag Vukovic in an article for the gloria Center.
“Cyprus is also a listening post from which to monitor electronic communication media, very helpful for signals intelligence,” they write. “With the surveillance technology installed in Cyprus, for decades, Britain has been able to share intelligence data with the United States, and now, no doubt, with the EU, as a member state.”
The United States also highly values the island. A confidential note from America’s embassy in Cyprus published by WikiLeaks shows that while Cyprus itself is “too small, too distant, and too lacking in natural resources to affect U.S. interests,” the intelligence apparatus is not. If America lost access to the British bases there, and their radar and signal intelligence, it “would pose a threat to our national security interests in the eastern Mediterranean,” the embassy said.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has often pointed out the geographic importance of Cyprus. “More than one crusade has been launched from Cyprus,” he wrote last year. “Will we see the last crusade launched from there as well? Is history about to repeat itself?”
“Cyprus is now a member of the EU,” he continued. “Are European leaders already thinking about Cyprus as a launching pad from which to protect their Jerusalem interests? You can be certain that they are thinking about how to protect the holy places in and around Jerusalem. The Europeans have thought like this for almost 2,000 years!”
It is now common knowledge that EU elites created the euro knowing it would cause a crisis. This crisis, they hoped, would force Europe to integrate further—something that had so far been unacceptable to Europe’s public.
It worked. EU elites are now talking about creating a European federation, and even a “United States of Europe.” Greece became a German protectorate. And now the crisis has dropped Cyprus into their lap too—just as radical Islam takes over Egypt.
Mr. Flurry has also shown how Iran’s strategy revolves around controlling the Red Sea and pushing at Europe in the Mediterranean. Where better to push back from than Cyprus? Britain used the island nation to cover the mouth of the Sinai canal. And it is simply the best place from which to project power around the eastern Mediterranean.
Watch for the European Union to take full advantage of its newly acquired real estate. ▪