News / Europe

Cyprus Vows to Stay in Eurozone

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades addresses a conference of civil servants in Nicosia, March 29, 2013.
Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades addresses a conference of civil servants in Nicosia, March 29, 2013.
VOA News
The president of Cyprus says his island country will not abandon the 17-nation euro currency union.
 
Nicos Anastasiades said Friday at a civil servants conference in the capital, Nicosia, that Cyprus has no intention of quitting the eurozone — but that it will have to make sacrifices to restore its debt-plagued economy.
 
"We will all have to make sacrifices, as the economy unfolded in a violent way, and it will force us all to share the burden so we can succeed in restoring our state," he said. "All of this will be done responsibly, without exaggerations. Let me emphasize this — we have no intention of leaving the euro."
 
Later, the Cypriot central bank ended all restrictions on domestic credit and debit card use.

  • People line up outside a branch of Cyprus' Housing Finance Corporation, a state-run bank that mainly helps low and middle income people, in capital Nicosia, March 29, 2013.
  • Supporters of the extreme right group National Popular Front (ELAM) take part in an anti-bailout protest outside parliament in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 28, 2013.
  • A Laiki Bank manager helps a police officer enter the bank after getting past depositors waiting outside the bank's branch in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 28, 2013.
  • People wait to enter at a branch of Laiki Bank shortly after it opened in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 28, 2013.
  • People wait for the opening of a branch of Laiki Bank in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 28, 2013.
  • A man walks with a parrot on his hat in front of a Bank of Cyprus branch before it opens in Nicosia, March 28, 2013.
  • A man reacts outside a branch of the Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia, March 28, 2013.

Cyprus banks reopened Thursday for the first time after an almost two-week shutdown while the government negotiated a $13 billion bailout from European neighbors, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
 
As part of the bailout, Cypriot bank depositors, for the first time in Europe's handling of its three-year debt crisis, have been forced to bear some of the cost of the rescue plan intended to keep the country solvent.
 
Cyprus has agreed to confiscate 40 percent or more from the biggest, uninsured accounts above $130,000 to help pay for the rescue.
 
The deal also forces the restructuring of the Bank of Cyprus, the island's largest lender. The bank will absorb some of the assets of Cyprus' second-largest bank, Cyprus Popular, also known as Laiki, which is being shut down.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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