Panicked Cyprus Stalls, Braces for Bank Run
Country considers levy of up to 15%
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2013 3:55 AM CDT
Updated Mar 18, 2013 7:58 AM CDT
In this image made from video, Cyprus' president Nikos Anastasiades addresses the nation in a televised broadcast, Nicosia, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/RIKSAT)

(Newser) – Things are getting crazy in Cyprus, which has again postponed a vote that could levy a tax on bank depositors to fund the nation's bailout, the BBC reports, this time until tomorrow. Its effects, however, are already rippling through Europe, where stock markets and the euro have plummeted, and Cypriots were yanking their money from ATMs yesterday. The country has extended today's bank holiday through tomorrow, and the New York Times notes that many think that will be extended to Wednesday. Some fear a run on banks could hit Spain and Italy amid concerns the levy might not be limited to Cyprus.

The hit could now be as high as 15% on deposits of more than $646,000, an insider tells the Wall Street Journal, while smaller deposits could be subject to a 3% or 10% tax. The goal is $7.6 billion, in the first European bailout to be financed by depositers. Still, there's no guarantee the measure will pass. There's no majority party, Reuters notes, and three parties have already refused to support it. But Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is calling on lawmakers to take action, saying that failure to back the levy could result in a "complete collapse of the banking sector." A lawmaker, however, offered a different take: "Essentially parliament is called to legalize a decision to rob depositors blind, against every written and unwritten law."

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Mar 18, 2013 10:53 PM CDT
Shame on the News Media, Again, for creating panic in the Europe Nations of the people and the politicans alike, all the way back to the NYSE. It Amazes me how damning the media can take a rock and turn it into the deadlious thing in the world! Or make sugar out to be poison! One day these News people will be hung by their genitals until they know pain!
Mar 18, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
They already paid taxes on this money when they made, but its never enough for the leftist never. They continue to punish the people who do the right thing save prosper for the sake of the losers. A leftist utopia would be that your paycheck goes to them they keep the lionshare of it and give you just enough to make it another week. Socialism equals misery for the masses while the elits Socialist live like the privledged, look at China and old USSR a ruling class while the rest of the people waited in line for hours for a roll of toliet paper.
Mar 18, 2013 2:22 PM CDT
This is a progressive liberal's "WET" dream...To be able to use the law to steal 10, 20, or 30 percent from the savings of those they percieve as being rich...To fund more of their FAILED nany-state programs!!!