7 pictures of lonely journalists hoping for a Cypriot bank run

The bank run probably won't happen, but capital controls might stay for a while.

Sadly for those standing around outside Cypriot banks with cameras and notebooks this morning (and there are way more of them than anyone else right now)...  it might all turn out to be a bit of a snoozefest.

These journalists, for example, are definitely ready for the banks to open:

These journalists are also definitely ready for the banks to open:

These journalists are so definitely ready for the banks to open it's actually a bit painful:

Are we nearly there yet?


Why are the police so calm and unprovocative?

This parrot is trying to help the journalists stay positive:

There was a little excitement over the arrival of some armed guards(!) earlier, but as @spignal points out:


The reason there probably won't be Cyprus bank run is in these here capital controls. People can only take €300 from their account each day, so the emptying of accounts into socks just can't happen in one go.

Here are some other important details from the legislation, designed to ruin media fun today:

- You can only leave the country carrying €1,000

- You can't cash cheques

- You can't transfer (much) cash abroad.

Officially, the controls "shall apply for a seven day period starting from the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic" - but there's suspicion they might hang around for a bit longer. Here's Courtney Weaver and Michael Stothard in the FT:

This makes sense - those capital controls are the only thing standing between banks and a potential mob, so they're likely to stick around in one form or another, for quite some time.

Are we nearly there yet? Photograph: @JoeWSJ

Martha Gill writes the weekly Irrational Animals column. You can follow her on Twitter here: @Martha_Gill.

Show Hide image

Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.