When things start falling up, it’s often instructive to compare the 10:00 & 11:00 UTC World Report news packages on CBC Radio 1. Through experience, Doom North has learned that the grownups at the Mothership in Toronto arrive between 6AM and 7AM local, so that the earlier version is the junior back-shift’s take on the facts, while the later one is closer to the desired spin.
This morning the first version of the Cyprus deposit confiscation story was #2 right after the distracstory about the two Quebec convicts levitating out of the prison yard by hijacked helicoptor (soon to be a minor TV movie-of-the-week). The word “tax” was repeated about a dozen times, and the human angle was that British troops on Cyprus (there are still UN peacekeepers patrolling a cease-fire line, official deposit-lifting may only be affecting the Greek side of the line) would be looked after by HRM’s gov’t.
The later version was #4 in the 11:00 UTC package and featured the word “levy” five times with “tax” now embargoed. Presumably the senior editors remembered it was tax season up here, and substituted the light airy term that doesn’t have an immediate connection with our own experience. The other significant change was substituting a sound-bite from an outraged British expatriate retiree, who wasn’t too chuffed to learn her bank account had been at least partly cleaned out on Clean Monday (the Eastern Orthodox Christian holiday marking the first day of their Lent). I’m only guessing, but perhaps the Mothership didn’t want their listeners to be reminded that security forces and political cronies are always sheltered from the effects of these things.
(cruel cuts — Lagana bread is a fasting bread traditionally eaten on Clean Monday — Wikipedia)
It’s traditional on this day for the Orthodox to go outdoors, munch on Langana and fly kites. Perhaps the kites can mingle with the depositors’ money as it drifts northwards towards the euro-core. That should be good for a few editorial cartoons in Cyprus newspapers, anyway.
I think we can assume that our national broadcaster got the raw stuff from the BBC, as the British folks are largely covering the ongoing Levantine hairball from that hitherto safe haven. For what it’s worth, the “Russian oligarch” meme got mentioned in both CBC versions. Another thing that didn’t get mentioned in either CBC version is that the other name for Clean Monday is Ash Monday, remembering that it’s the first day of their Lent. And that pretty much sums up what just happened to bank depositor trust around the Mediterranean, and perhaps beyond 🙁