We can see in this story what a horrible theft the Cyprus story was. But it is just as tragic for the regular citizen of Cyprus, perhaps even more so, as your family and neighbors also have no ability to save you.
Only three weeks ago the widow was confident she was finally putting her painful past behind her. In the space of three days she had sold her house on Cyprus, the island where the couple ran a popular scuba-diving business, located to a new home in the UK and found a job.
“I was set on moving on after Gary died last year and had everything in motion when overnight my world was turned upside down again,” said the mother-of-two from Welling, Kent.
“Suddenly I was caught up in this nightmare scenario that has befallen Cyprus with the funds from the sale of my house frozen as a result of capital controls because of the crisis.”
The £155,000 proceeds from the sale of her villa in Paralimni, near Ayia Napa, hit her account two hours before close of business on March 15. The next day, EU officials announced that to qualify for a bailout the bankrupt island must enforce draconian measures, including an unprecedented tax on depositors with more than 100,000 euros (£85,000).
Sharon’s two accounts at the Bank of Cyprus, one set up especially for the transaction, were immediately frozen. The 55-year-old, who fears she could lose £42,000, said: “On the same day that the money went into the bank I sent an e-mail. In it I instructed them to transfer the funds, some of which were in euros and some in sterling, to the UK but on Saturday morning the news broke that Cypriot banks were in major financial difficulty.”