News / Europe

    Cyprus Banks to Remain Closed Until Thursday

    A trader looks at his screen on the IG Group trading floor in London March 18, 2013. The surprise decision by eurozone leaders to partially fund a bailout of Cyprus by taxing bank deposits sent shockwaves through financial markets on Monday.
    A trader looks at his screen on the IG Group trading floor in London March 18, 2013. The surprise decision by eurozone leaders to partially fund a bailout of Cyprus by taxing bank deposits sent shockwaves through financial markets on Monday.
    VOA News
    Cyprus banks will remain closed until Thursday to prevent a run on accounts as the Mediterranean island nation considers imposing a first-ever bank deposit tax.

    The proposed bank levy has rattled investors. Stock markets throughout the world dropped Monday in the aftermath of the bailout for tiny Cyprus. Stocks in Asia plunged two percent or more, with European and U.S. indexes falling by smaller amounts.

    The proposed bank tax would hit everyone with money in Cypriot banks, including foreign nationals.

    Cyprus moved to revamp terms of the bank deposit tax imposed by its international lenders as part of a $13 billion bailout to keep from going bankrupt.

    Cypriot officials were working with the lenders to cut or eliminate the tax on small investors, while raising it on those with bigger accounts. For the second day in a row, Cyprus's parliament postponed a vote on a new plan and rescheduled it for Tuesday.

    • Bank of Cyprus employees sit in front of riot police during a protest outside Greece's Finance Ministry as the bank remains closed for third day in central Athens, March 21, 2013.
    • People line up at an ATM outside a closed Laiki Bank branch in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 21, 2013.
    • Employees of the Bank of Cyprus take part in a rally in solidarity with Cyprus outside the headquarters of the bank in Athens, Greece, March 20, 2013.
    • International Monetary Fund mission chief Delia Velculescu arrives for a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 20, 2013.
    • A man walks by graffiti that reads "Troika out" in the old city of capital Nicosia, Cyprus, March 19, 2013.
    • Demonstrators raise their arms in protest as Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades's convoy drives to the parliament in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 18, 2013.
    • A protester shouts slogans outside of parliament during a meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 18, 2013.
    • Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades arrives at parliament in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 18, 2013.

    Cypriot banks were closed on Monday for a holiday.

    Cypriots were angered by the deposit tax, with one domestic worker saying it is unacceptable.

    "We cleaning ladies spend our entire days trying to earn some money in order to feed our children, and now they are saying they are going to take it from us?" one woman said.  "It's unacceptable. No. Not a single haircut, we will not accept any kind of haircut.''

    Under bailout terms set Saturday by Cyprus's eurozone neighbors and the International Monetary Fund, a one-time tax of 9.9 percent would be imposed on deposits of $131,000 and up, while deposits under $131,000 would be taxed at 6.75 percent.

    Analyst Robert Halver of the Baader Bank said the fear is that depositors throughout the eurozone might view the Cyprus experience as reason to start withdrawing their funds from bank accounts. Such a run on banks could create a new crisis for European governments, now in the third year of their debt crisis.

    "What has been done in Cyprus is an experiment," Halver said. "If the population has to, in the form of their savings, contribute to rectify the mistakes that have been made in Cyprus, then there is a danger that in other countries people will decide, at the breakfast table, to withdraw their money. If money is withdrawn on a great scale, if we have a bank run, then we see the return of the bank crisis."

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called the proposed levy "unfair, unprofessional and dangerous."  Russian banks and corporations have billions of dollars in Cypriot banks.

    Cypriot media say it is unlikely lawmakers will agree to the terms set in the bailout.  

    President Nicos Anastasiades said in a televised address to the nation Sunday if parliament does not approve the levy, Cyprus faces bankruptcy and the possible exit of Cyprus from the eurozone.


    Watch related video

    Related Video of Cyprus Situationi
    X
    March 18, 2013 3:23 PM
    Residents of Cyprus are angry that their bank deposits are subject to a one-time tax levy as part of a bailout deal for the cash-strapped island. Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund included the levy as part of a deal to give Cyprus $13 billion to avoid bankruptcy. News of the tax plan sent stocks tumbling Monday in Asia.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: DAVID LULASA from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
    March 19, 2013 6:29 AM
    cyprus government should not lose hope even when they havent used the money and see if there are no profits to be realised from the loan...i wonder who has told them that they wont make a profit and hence the need for cypriots account holders to pay for the loan?.

    lulasa...president

    by: NVO from: USA
    March 18, 2013 7:34 PM
    The Global Elites plan of the NEW WORLD ORDER is to make you become CONDITIONED to their EVIL plan.............A ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, RIGGED MARKETS, MICROCHIPPING OF CITIZENS, EUGENICS and WAR. The Bilderberg group headed by the ROCKEFELLERS and the ROTHSCHILDS are the ones to EXPOSE! “The process in which the frequency or predictability of a behavioral response is increased through reinforcement (i.e., a stimulus or a reward for the desired response). Classical, or respondent, conditioning, which involves stimulus substitution, is based on the work of Ivan Pavlov, who conditioned dogs by ringing a bell each time the aroma of food was presented. Eventually the dogs salivated when the bell rang, even if no food odor was present; salivation was thus the conditioned response.”

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.