EU bailout for Cyprus approved

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Breaking with previous EU practice that depositors' savings are sacrosanct, Cyprus and international lenders agreed at the weekend that savers in the island's outsized banking system would take a hit in return for the offer of €10 billion in aid.

The decision to introduce levies on deposits are 9.9% for those exceeding €100,000 and 6.7% on anything below that, according to the bailout agreement, announced on Saturday morning.

The news stunned Cypriots and caused a run on bank machines, most of which were depleted within hours. Electronic transfers were halted.

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