European Central Bank pressures Cyprus for new bailout deal

Cypriots and foreigners wait in line to withdraw money from an ATM of a Laiki bank branch in the center of the capital, Nicosia, on March 21, 2013.

Pressure is piling onto Cyprus. On Tuesday the Cypriot parliament rejected a bailout plan that would have taxed the country’s bank depositors. Now the European Central Bank has upped the ante. It has warned the small island nation that it will cut off the emergency funding that is keeping Cypriot banks afloat if Cyprus does not agree a new deal by Monday.

“This is an attempt by the ECB to pressure the Cypriot authorities to come forward with a different plan to finance their share of the bailout of the Cypriot banking sector,” says Simon Tilford of the Center for European Reform.

This morning the Cypriot president unveiled his revised plan to the country’s political leaders. The proposals are believed to include a bank tax only affecting accounts worth more than $130,000 and a bond issue tied to the country’s natural gas reserves.

Meanwhile, the Cypriot finance minister is still in Moscow pleading for help from the Russians.  

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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