- Title: CYPRUS: Cyprus cabient meets as banks to remain closed
- Date: 20th March 2013
- Summary: NICOSIA, CYPRUS (MARCH 20, 2013) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PRESIDENTIAL PALACE EXTERIOR CYPRUS AND EU FLAGS CYPRUS FLAG ENTRANCE TO PRESIDENTIAL PALACE TRANSPORT MINISTER ARRIVING FOR MEETING TRANSPORT MINISTER ENTERING EDUCATION MINISTER ARRIVING FOR MEETING EDUCATION MINISTER ENTERING JUSTICE MINISTER ARRIVING JUSTICE MINISTER ENTERING DEFENCE MINISTER ARRIVING FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVING
- Embargoed: 4th April 2013 13:00
- Location: Cyprus
- Country: Cyprus
- Topics: Economy
- Reuters ID: LVA3VUZ86BLCER3ZV6A0L2X1D8N1
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Cyprus ministers arrived for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday (March 20) as the tiny Mediterranean island sought solutions to its current dilemma and avert a financial meltdown, after the island's parliament rejected the terms of a bailout from the EU, raising the risk of default and a bank crash.
It is one of a series of meetings Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades held on Wednesday. He also met with central bank officials and troika inspectors from the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
An government official speaking on condition of anonimity said banks will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.
With Monday a public holiday, the move effectively closes lenders until Tuesday, March 26.
Cyprus was asking Russia for a loan but Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris said he had not reached a deal at a first meeting with his Russian counterpart Anton Siluanov in Moscow, but talks there would continue.
Cyprus is seeking Moscow's help after parliament voted down the euro zone's plan for a 10 billion euro bailout on Tuesday.
Cypriots balked at EU demands for a levy on bank deposits to raise 5.8 billion euros, an unprecedented measure that opponents said would have violated the principle behind an EU-wide guarantee on deposits of up to 100,000 euros.
Moscow has its own interests in ensuring the survival of banks in Cyprus, a haven for billions of euros squirrelled abroad by Russians.
The European Central Bank's chief negotiator on Cyprus, Joerg Asmussen, said the ECB would have to pull the plug on Cypriot banks unless the country took a bailout quickly.
A Cypriot official who asked not to be identified said the government was considering whether to impose capital controls when the banks reopen.
President Nicos Anastasiades, barely a month in the job, met party leaders and the governor of the central bank at his office. Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said a "Plan B" was in the works.
Lawmaker Marios Mavrides said one option under discussion was to nationalise pensions funds of semi-government corporations, which hold between 2 billion and 3 billion euros.
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