GO
Loading...

Huffington on Cyprus: GDP Half Apple Earnings

The bailout plan to tax Cyprus bank savers is a "terrible decision" and one fueled by what's good for Germany, Arianna Huffington told CNBC Tuesday.

"To basically go after insured deposits, to me, that's the worst of the whole deal," the Huffington Post co-founder and editor-in-chief said in a "Squawk Box" interview, in which she also spoke about the importance of corporate wellness.

But putting things in perspective, she continued, "my favorite piece of data is Cyprus's GDP, $25 billion, is half of Apple's quarterly earnings."

(Read More: Cyprus Tax Lit 'Two Sticks of Dynamite:' Pimco's El-Erian)

The capital cities of Cyprus and Greece are about 600 miles apart. "The majority of Cypriots are Greek and speak Greek," said Huffington, who was born in Greece.

She said the tax on bank accounts as a condition of a Cyprus financial bailout is a "decision kind of fueled by what's good for Germany."

"[German Chancellor] Angela Merkel is running for re-election. The German public is angry that basically Germany is bailing out all these countries that they consider irresponsible."

Several members of Cyprus' parliament have told CNBC that the legislation to tax bank deposits is unlikely to pass, a move that could put that country closer to default.

(Read More: Cyprus Bank Levy Unlikely to Pass Parliament)

The Cyprus Stock Exchange suspended trading on Tuesday and Wednesday, while banks remain closed until Thursday. Fitch Ratings put a number of Cyprus banks on negative ratings watch.

"Iceland, Ireland, Cyprus—these three islands—they all got into trouble because they became hubs for international money," Huffington said. "And they didn't really have the capitalization opportunity to be able to deal with it."

She added the banking sector in Cyprus is 80 times larger than the gross domestic product of that country.

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
AAPL
---

Featured

Contact Europe News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Europe Video