Bailed-out and bankingly challenged Cyprus is a “unique case,” the entire European policy establishment tells us.
One under-reported way in which Cyprus is unique is that chatter about eventually leaving the euro isn’t limited to the fringes. It’s part of the mainstream discourse, as Cypriots wake up to what they’ve gotten themselves into.
No less an authority than Christopher Pissarides, who has brought his Nobel prize-winning credentials to the job of running the new government’s economic policy council, wants to “think very carefully” — at some indeterminate point, once a semblance of normality has returned — about staying or going.
In more of a hurry is a major player in parliament, Nicholas Papadopoulos, head of the finance committee. Pulling out is “a valid point that has to be explored,” he said yesterday.
Higher-ups haven’t gotten that memo, yet. Speaking like the two above-mentioned doubters in a Bloomberg Television interview, Finance Minister Michael Sarris said today that merely entertaining the idea would be “catastrophic.” If so, the catastrophe is already upon us.