Interview with former president George Vassiliou, by Pricewaterhousecoopers.
How would you summarise the Cyprus crisis?
GV: Well in a nutshell, there is no doubt that there was a debt issue. However, the whole way it was presented, I think it was unfair to Cyprus. To start with, everybody knows that the banking crisis in Cyprus originated in Greece. If the Greek economy had not collapsed, nobody would have complained about Cyprus. If when the decision about the PSI in Greece was taken, the Greek government had said, ‘but you know, the Cyprus banks in Greece are as Greek as the Greek banks, so they have to be treated in the same way, they have not done that.
Of course it is true that our President at that time, Mr Christofias, did not realise the repercussions and voted yes, they said they wanted to be in unanimity with the other EU members and other Eurogroup member countries but they should have realised that the repercussions of this PSI (Private Sector Involvement) for Cyprus would have been huge.