Banks and cash machines remain closed in Cyprus on Tuesday as politicians prepared to vote on a plan to seize up to 10 percent of savings accounts to fund a state bailout. The government shut the banks amid a furious reaction to the proposal from ordinary Cypriot and expatriate savers.
Parliament looks set to reject the proposal in today’s vote. In Nicosia people remained cautiously optimistic about the outcome. One man said: “It looks like the people and opposition have started to influence the first proposal suggested and I think that it’s going to be for the best.”
The angry backlash has targeted both the government and European leaders, with Cypriots feeling they are being made to pay for the mistakes of politicians and the island’s bloated banking sector.
Politicians are working on a revised plan to raise the 5.8 billion euros needed to stave off bankruptcy. The crisis has put renewed strain on other struggling eurozone economies and hit the European markets hard in recent days.