Cyprus will not be contributing an hour to the European Horological Fund this year, and will instead be stopping time completely on the 31st March, the country's president says.
As fellow EU member states prepare for the annual contribution on Sunday, when clocks across Europe will be put forward by one-hour, Cyprus have instead instructed citizens to unwind watches, take batteries out of clocks and remove all timekeeping devices from the island.
President Nicos Anastasiades said: "Cyprus cannot afford to contribute to the fund this year, as we simply don’t have the time. No time to spare. We’ve completely run out of time”.
Mr Anastasiades went on to explain that, collectively, several million hours had been wasted over the past fortnight, by Cypriots idly queuing outside banks in the forlorn hope of gaining access to their funds. Some estimates have put the total amount of time wasted as high as twenty thousand years, which - if remedial action were not to be taken - would plunge the island back in to the Upper Paleolithic era.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides added that saving time on the island was now, “absolutely essential”. Speaking to journalists on Friday, Mr. Kasoulides said: “We don’t have all the time in the world, and living on borrowed time is not an option”.
The socio-economic effects of not taking action would be devastating for the island. In particular, the Tourism Industry would be unlikely to survive Cyprus being dumped back in to the midst of the last Ice Age.
In order to avoid these effects, Mr. Kasoulides stated that stopping time completely was the only viable course of action available to the government. “Cyprus will be sticking at March 31st 2013 - at least for the lack of foreseeable future” he said.
The European Commission has backed the Cypriot government’s move, saying that it would not contemplate allowing a member state to fall back to the Stone Age, when the very concept of money was alien, “and the intricacies of a single European currency unlikely to be appreciated or fully understood”.
While recognising that staying in 2013 will mean Cyprus continuing to feel the effects of the Eurozone Crisis, long after the rest of Europe has finally recovered, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that the commission believe stopping time on Cyprus was, “right for the euro”.
“After all, nobody wants to have to handle a 100 euro note that some Neanderthal has just wiped his arse on”, he said.
“There are precedents for resorting to such drastic measures” said Mr. Van Rompuy. “Similar action was taken by Wales during the Miners’ strike, which has resulted in the principality being stuck in 1984 for the last twenty-nine years. And as for the Isle of Wight, well that place hasn’t progressed at all - not since the end of Siege of Sevastopol in 1885”, he concluded.