Shock has turned to panic in Cyprus as the terms of a Brussels backed bailout became known. A one-off levy on personal savings drove many to withdraw what they could from ATM machines.
Cyprus is to get 10 billion euros to stave off bankruptcy but in a radical departure from previous aid packages, the island’s savers are being forced to pay up to 10% of their deposits to raise another six billion.
Locals are not happy:
“Why should they take our money? “ asked one woman.“We’ve worked our whole lives to save a bit on the side. It’s really unfair.”
Another said he thought it “outrageous and unacceptable”.
In Limasol one man drove his bulldozer to his local bank and threatened to smash the front window unless the bank handed over his money.
British-born Cypriots and their families, some of the UK’s 3,500 service personnel on the island and holiday home owners will also have to pay up when the levy comes into operation on Tuesday.