Cyprus' Banks Might Never Reopen, Warns Germany
Cypriot officials acknowledge tomorrow's planned opening may not occur
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2013 7:51 AM CDT
Protester stand in front of a banner which reads "Cyprus Says No" during a crucial parliamentary vote on a plan to seize a part of depositors' bank savings.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

(Newser) – On the heels of yesterday's crushing rejection of its controversial bank deposit tax, the what-the-heck-is-Cyprus-going-to-do watch continues. The BBC reports that President Nicos Anastasiades is in crisis talks with party leaders and examining "alternative plans." The country's banks remained closed through tomorrow, and officials now say the closure could be extended until Tuesday. But Germany's finance minister last night issued a much more dire warning: Cypriot banks may never reopen. Wolfgang Schäuble's key statement, per the BBC:

  • "The ECB (European Central Bank) has made it clear that without a reform program for Cyprus the aid can't continue. Two big Cypriot banks are insolvent if there are no emergency funds from the European Central Bank. Someone has to explain this to the Cypriots and I think there's a danger that they won't be able to open the banks again at all."

One of its plan B options may involve Russia, which received a Cypriot delegation in Moscow. The Wall Street Journal reports that the group intended to discuss a "long-shot plan" in which Russia would hand over billions and get a share in the country's banks and offshore energy fields in return. But as of today, "There were no offers, nothing concrete," says Cyprus' finance minister, "we're happy with a good beginning." The other plan Bs the BBC floats: bank mergers or a bond issue. In the meantime, the country is considering "contingency measures" that could be put in place should the banks reopen, such as daily withdrawal maximums and slowing the pace with which transactions clear.

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Mar 20, 2013 6:25 PM CDT
THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!!! The Cypriots now have a choice of either allowing a 2-5% "tax" on their accounts or losing the ENTIRE ACCOUNT???!!! BULLSHIT!!! BULLSHIT!!! I say to the Cypriots REVOLUTION AND ANARCHISM!!!! We also need Anonymous to hack the hell out of Brussels and the IMF for giving the Cypriots "An offer they can't refuse"!!!!
Mar 20, 2013 6:16 PM CDT
Extreme debt causes you to lose your choices. We are close wait until China starts selling their Treasuries when the see the value of currency tanking where in the world is the money going to come from? Cyprus, Spain, Ireland and Italy are all going to be conquered by Germany's economic power. The debtor is slave to the lender what they couldn't do with armies they will accomplish with their checkbook.
Mar 20, 2013 5:36 PM CDT
My question is why the hell don't these countries just sell their freaking countries to Germany? Or Russia?Greece and Cyprus could become part of a rich country and provide nice tourist venues for the folks?volken,if you will.