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Cypriots panic as rumours swirl of more bank closures after €10bn bailout

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CHARLOTTE MCDONALD-GIBSON , SHAUN WALKER
London Independent
March 27, 2013

Anger at a deal aimed at saving Cyprus from bankruptcy spilled into the streets today with thousands of students and finance workers demanding answers after the government said banks would remain shut for two more days and details of strict capital control measures emerged.

The central bank governor, Panicos Demetriades, stressed that “superhuman” efforts were being made to open Cypriot banks on Thursday as he sought to quell fears that the nation’s largest lender, the Bank of Cyprus, was about to be shut down. Today its chairman offered to quit and hundreds of its employees marched to the central bank building to protest against potential job losses. The chairman’s offer was later rejected by the bank’s board.

“We are scared,” one employee who gave her name as Anthoulla told Reuters news agency. “We were also so proud of the Bank of Cyprus. We worked with a lot of love, not just for the money.” About 3,000 secondary school students also protested outside parliament in Nicosia.

In the deal hammered out in Brussels on Sunday, people with over €100,000 in the two biggest banks will have their deposits frozen. Those with under €100,000 in the second biggest bank, Laiki, would have their money transferred into the Bank of Cyprus, with Laiki eventually shut.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 5:55 am





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