Europe Economy

Cyprus President Is a 'Fool:' Gartman


Proposals to force depositors in Cyprus to contribute towards a euro zone bailout has shaken the very nature of banking to its roots, according to Dennis Gartman, editor of "The Gartman Letter", who has labeled Cyprus's recently elected President Nicos Anastasiades a "fool".

Cyprus agreed to impose a "one-off levy" which would tax every depositor in a Cypriot bank under 100,000 euros at 6.75 percent, while those with deposits over that amount would face a 9.9 percent tax.

(Read More: Cyprus Bailout Crisis Slams Brakes on Risk-On)

The deal has surprised many, but for Gartman the proposals can be classified simply as theft.

"The Cypriot government has taken...stolen...taken title it what you will, but we call it theft," he said in a his latest letter released on Monday.

"President Anastasiades is a fool. He said the consequences of rejecting the deal would be the collapse of at least one of Cyprus's major banks, amid widespread weakness in the country's banking system. Instead, he's opted for the full scale assault upon the economic system as a whole and has given cause to the collapse of the EUR itself."

(Read More: Cyprus Economy Could Contract by 15%: Nomura)

This is nothing short of astounding, he added. The Cypriot parliament is yet to vote on the bailout terms, with reports on Monday that a new deal may be struck which will see smaller depositors with savings of up to 100,000 euros taxed at a lower rate than than those with larger holdings.

This is the biggest news so far this year, Gartman said, and he added the decision would reverberate for days, weeks, months and years into the future.

(Read More: Cyprus to Put Forward New Bailout Plan: Reports)

"The very nature of banking has been shaken to its roots."

The parliamentary vote, which could be delayed till Tuesday afternoon, according to Reuters news agency, won't be successful, Gartman said. He foresees that by the time of the vote there could be so much organized opposition to the law that it may not become fact.

By's Matt Clinch