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MPs in Cyprus have voted to create a ‘national solidarity fund’, to restructure the island’s banks and to give the government power to impose capital controls in order to prevent a bank run.

The late night emergency session approved the measures in a dramatic bid to avoid an imminent financial meltdown.

The lawmakers are working to a Monday deadline.

“At this difficult time there are no easy solutions of course, there are no painless solutions. At this moment of a call to arms, the Socialist Party will play its role,” rallied Socialist Party member Nikos Nikolaou.

While the voting was going on protesters called for the EU-led troika of international lenders to get out of Cyprus.

The island has been told to raise nearly six billion euros to qualify for a 10 billion euro bailout.

The one measure which triggered the crisis – the rejection of a controversial tax on bank savings – could be back on table in a modified form this weekend.

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