Cyprus in limbo after rejecting bank plan
NICOSIA, Cyprus – Lawmakers in Cyprus decisively rejected a plan Tuesday to seize up to 10 percent of people’s bank deposits in order to secure an international bailout and prevent a collapse of the country’s banks.
The vote leaves the tiny Mediterranean economy in financial limbo, but hundreds of protesters outside Parliament cheered and sang the national anthem when they heard the bill failed.
Still, Cyprus needs $20.4 billion to bail out its heavily indebted banks and shore up government finances. If it doesn’t get the money, the banks could fail, Cyprus’ government finances could be ruined for years and the country could face expulsion from the 17-country euro currency union. Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund have pledged to provide $12.9 billion in rescue loans if Cyprus can come up with the remainder.
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