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Work continues to shield Cypriot small savers

Work continues to shield Cypriot small savers
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Popular protests are now a regular occurrence on the streets of Greece and Spain.

But there are now demonstrations outside the parliament buidling in Cyprus: a small mediterranean island with big problems.

Plans for a one-off tax of almost seven percent on savings of up to 100 000 euros have enraged locals and sparked big cash withdrawals from banks.

It is a clause in a 10 billion euro EU/IMF bailout deal.

A vote is due in parliament on Tuesday. Banks on the island will stay closed until Thursday, as work continues to solve the problem.

Eurozone finance ministers have asked Cyprus to move the burden away from smaller investors.

Germany, which has attracted much of the blame, insists the Cypriot government, the European Commission and the ECB agreed on the levy.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters that taxing the deposits of small savers by starting with the first euro is socially unjust.

The Cypriot President says without the bailout, Cyprus could face bankrupcy and a possible exit from the eurozone.