In the year of 2013, we had several ups and downs: bombings, deaths, births and significant accomplishments. Here at Ignite UNMC, we will be writing about the biggest news of 2013 as we bid the current year a goodbye and welcome 2014 with open arms.
Pope Benedict XVI Resigns [28.02.2013]
On February 28, Pope Benedict XVI officially resigned and stepped down as the leader of the Catholic Church. His resignation was first announced on February 11, 2013 by the Vatican. Benedict’s resignation came as a shock to all as it was the first Pope resignation since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, who resigned in order to end the Western Schism. He is also the first to resign on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294.
Pope Benedict XVI stated that his decision to step down was because of his declining heath which he attributed to old age. The conclave later selected his successor on March 12, 2013 and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was selected. Bergoglio, who now takes the name of Pope Francis, was the Archbishop of Beunos Aires.
Benedict XVI delivered his final Angelus on February 24, where thanked a gathered group, “Thank you for your affection. [I will take up a life of prayer and meditation] to be able to continue serving the church”. On February 28, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI addressed the masses from the balcony of the Vatican Church for the last time.
Cyprus Gets New Deal [25.03.2013]
Leaders of the European leaders agreed on Monday, March 25th on a bailout package for Cyrpus to keep the nation in the euro zone and to help it rebuild its floundering economy. This decision was done to also avoid a collapse of the nation’s banking system. The deal was approved by the finance ministers from the euro zone which is made up of 17 countries that currently use euros as their nation’s currency.
The deal would drastically reduce the size of Cyprus’s oversize banking sector and scrap the idea of a tax on bank deposits which was perceived as being highly controversial. The deal would, however, still impose forced losses for depositors and bondholders. Back then, it was decided that Cyprus would receive the first payment of the bailout package, worth 10 billion euros ($13 billion) early May.
Laiki Bank, one of Cyprus’s largest banks, would be reduced and their senior bondholders would have to take losses. This was done in order for the Bank of Cyprus, the largest lender in the nation, to survive but it would also take on some of Laiki Bank’s liabilities which include emergency liquidity.
Retailers, gas stations and supermarkets had increasingly refused to take forms of payments like credit cards and check. Banks were also reducing their daily withdrawal limit; going from 400 euros to a small 100 euros. Citizens of Cyprus were forced to drain their bank account in fear of being hit with a drastic reduction in withdrawal limits.