Cypriots face up to savings tax challenge

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Cypriots face up to savings tax challenge

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The flood of people to bank cashpoints in Cyprus over the weekend appears to have come to an end, but that was not because fears about an EU charge on savings have abated, or that everyone had accepted the deal as a fait accompli.

“It might be unfair but it’s a solution,” said one woman.

“I came here to withdraw money but all withdrawals have been halted.The situation is tragic,” said another.

The reason Cypriot banks were quiet on Sunday was simpler – the cashpoints were all empty. Banks will only reopen on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in the UK some British expatriate were being reassured.

“For people serving in our military, people serving in our government in Cyprus – because we have military bases there – we are going to compensate anyone who is affected by this bank tax. People who are doing their duty for our country in Cyprus will be protected from the Cypriot bank tax,” said British Chancellor George Osborne.

Many in London’s large Cypriot community appeared to be resigned to losing some of their deposits, as long as their sacrifice has a positive outcome.

“If it’s to save the country and to save the economy, we all have to bear it,” said one man.