How controversial Cyprus bailout was agreed
With its banks on the brink of collapse, the Mediterranean island had to tow line
It was before dawn on Saturday when the ultimatum came. Just hours earlier, heads of state from across the EU had wrapped up an uneventful summit and headed home.
But the sense of stability proved short-lived. By the time the sun rose in Brussels, a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) had unleashed a whole new misery upon the residents of one struggling eurozone outpost.
Cyprus was about to go broke, and its new President, Nicos Anastasiades, and his finance minister, Michael Sarris, needed a bailout of as much as €17bn for their banks, which had been hit hard by the crisis in Greece. They had made clear that they did not want ordinary Cypriots to bear the brunt, but as a tough night of negotiations got under-way after the main summit, Mr Anastasiades relented and agreed to a small levy on deposits of under €100k.
For Germany and its allies, however, that did not go far enough, according to in-depths reports on the talks in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal.
As the gruelling negotiations went into the small hours of Saturday, a stark choice emerged for the Cypriot delegation: agree a deal which included raising up to €7bn immediately from investors large and small, or the ECB would cut its support to one of Cyprus' troubled banks, saddling the government with unmanageable debts and bringing the whole financial system crashing down.
A shell-shocked Mr Anastasiades tried to walk out of the meeting, but soon realised that he did not have a choice. With the banks on the brink of collapse, the Mediterranean island had to tow line of the IMF, Germany, Finland and Slovakia.
A deflated President Anastasiades told the nation on Sunday: “The solution we concluded upon is not what we wanted, but is the least painful under the circumstances.”
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Hollande's affair: Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau in war of words over President's relationship with Julie Gayet
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...