News / Europe

    Cyprus Reconsiders Bank Deposit Tax to Solve Debt Crisis

    A protester cries during an anti-bailout rally by employees of Cyprus Popular Bank, outside parliament, Nicosia, March 22, 2013.
    A protester cries during an anti-bailout rally by employees of Cyprus Popular Bank, outside parliament, Nicosia, March 22, 2013.
    VOA News
    Cyprus is reconsidering whether to tax depositors' accounts at its troubled banks as the island nation desperately seeks a way to secure a bailout from its European neighbors.

    Earlier in the week, the Cypriot parliament overwhelmingly rejected confiscating money from savers. But the deposit tax emerged again Friday as the Cypriot leaders neared a deadline imposed by the country's international lenders to raise $7.5 billion by Monday or face a cutoff in emergency funding for its banks.

    The lenders have demanded that Cyprus raise the money as a condition for handing a $13-billion rescue package to the island.  Much of the money would refund the country's banks weighed down by bad investments in Greek government bonds.

    If no solution is found, Cyprus could default on its loans, and possibly become the first country to leave the 17-nation euro currency bloc.

    As parliament started consideration Friday night of several measures to raise the money it needs, the government said it envisions a 15-percent tax on accounts with more than $129,000, the threshold at which funds are not insured, while the defeated tax proposal covered insured savings as well.  A tax on the biggest deposits would impact numerous Russian oligarchs who have placed vast sums in the tax haven's banks.

    Cyprus revived the deposit tax after it unsuccessfully sought more aid from Russia.  Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would only consider assisting Cyprus if the island first reaches an agreement with its European neighbors on a rescue package.

    Cyprus said its future stands in the balance.  Government spokesman Christos Stylianides told the 56-member parliament that the Mediterranean country must be saved.

    "The next hours will determine the future of the country.  We must all take responsibility," said Stylianides.

    Cyprus is considering restructuring at least one of its key banks, Laiki.  The Bank of Cyprus and Laiki both urged parliament to impose a tax on the deposits of more than $129,000 as a way to resolve the crisis.
     
    The island's banks are closed until Tuesday to prevent panicked investors from withdrawing large sums of money.  Anxious depositors, however, are able to withdraw limited amounts from automated teller machines.  

    "We have not closed the door," said Medvedev. "We have not said that we would not discuss anything anymore and that we would not want even to hear anything because Cyprus is a European Union member state and it is not our business.  Of course, we have understandable economic interests there.  And we will and we are ready to discuss different options of supporting this country, bearing in mind that we have already given our support, we gave them a loan some time ago,  but only after a final scheme is worked out involving European Union countries and Cyprus itself.''

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora