No Panic as Banks Reopen in Cyprus
(NICOSIA, Cyprus) — There was no run on the banks in Cyprus Thursday as had been feared.
Instead, Cypriots went to their financial institutions to calmly withdraw money 12 days after the government shut down the banks as the result of an ensuing panic about a bailout proposal ultimately vetoed by parliament.
The first package called for virtually taxing everyone’s bank accounts up to 10 percent to help pay for the $13 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, setting off an immediate run on the banks, which quickly ran out of money.
The restructured deal proposes shrinking the banking system as depositors with more than 100,000 euros will endure heavy surcharges while those under that amount will be protected.
That seemed to calm the nerves of Cypriots who went to ATMs Thursday to make withdrawals of no more than $300 daily. The banks were only open for six hours.
Nonetheless, the level of equanimity was astounding given how much everyone panicked at first, and with Cyprus still far off from achieving economic security.
Cypriot president Nicos Anastasides tweeted his appreciation saying, “I would like to thank the Cypriot people for their maturity and collectedness shown in their interactions with the Cypriot banks.”
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