Cyprus government proposes change to let small savers escape tax on bank deposits as parliament looks ready to reject bailout package in key vote and risk default

People with less than €20,000 in the bank would not have to forfeit any savings under new proposals

The Cypriot government has put forward a new proposal which would allow small savers to escape a tax on their bank accounts, but there remained fears that parliament would later today reject the harsh bailout deal aimed at saving the Mediterranean island from bankruptcy.

Under the new proposals, people with less than €20,000 (£17,000) in the bank would not have to forfeit any of their savings – a change from the the controversial agreement reached in Brussels on Saturday, which stipulated that all deposits would be taxed. Those with between €20,000 and €100,000 would lose 6.75 per cent of their savings, and people with over €100,000 would face a 9.9 per cent tax.

President Nicos Anastasiades was forced to amend the deal reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and eurozone finance ministers after outcry in Cyprus, with people rushing to cash machines to try and get their hands on their money before the measures came into force.

With indications that parliament too would oppose the idea, a vote on the deal has twice been postponed since Sunday. It is now scheduled to begin at 1600 GMT, as the President scrambles to cobble together support for his new plan.

Cyprus' central bank chief conceded, however, that the new proposals did not raise the €5.8bn required by the European Union, and it was unclear how any shortfall would be made up. The troika of the IMF, the ECB and the EU have pledged €10bn in assistance, but only if the Cypriots come up with close to €6bn themselves.

In a statement last night, eurozone finance ministers said they were willing to tweak the deal to lessen the burden on small savers. The total contribution from Cyprus, however, must remain the same. “The statement is quite clear on that point,” an EU spokesperson said.

Even if the troika can be convinced, it remains to be seen if parliament will agree. “The feeling I'm having is that the house is going to reject the bill,” Mr Anastasiades said earlier today. Asked why, he said: “Because they feel and they think that it is unjust and it's against the interests of Cyprus at large.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea