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European Debt Crisis

Cyprus avoids bankruptcy with $13 billion bailout deal

Stephen Beard Mar 25, 2013
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After more than a week of turmoil, eurozone finance ministers reached a last minute deal to grant Cyprus a $13 billion bailout.

Under the current agreement, bank depositors with less than $130,000 will not lose any money. However, bigger depositors — most of them foreigners — may be taxed up to 40 percent. Last week, the Cypriot parliament rejected a bailout plan that would have taxed smaller bank depositors 7 percent.

Cyprus’ finance minister Michalis Sarris greeted the deal with relief.

“We have averted the possibility of bankruptcy, we really avoided a disastrous exit from the eurozone,” Sarris said.

Though Cyprus achieved a rescue deal, analysts say serious damage to the country’s banking sector has been done. As banks reopen, many foreign depositors are likely to move capital out of the country. The rating agency Moody’s has said in a report this morning that the bailout dealings in Cyprus “will have profound long-term negative consequences” for the country and the region.

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