Greek Cypriot Parliament rejects bailout plan: Report
A protester stands in front of a banner reading 'Cyprus Says No' during a crucial parliamentary vote on a plan to seize a percentage of depositors' personal savings, in central Nicosia. AP photoThe Greek Cypriot Parliament has said no to the revised bailout plan drafted by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund that foresees budget cuts worth 5.8 billion euros, daily Hürriyet has reported.
No members of the 56 seat house approved the plan, with 36 voting “no,” the newspaper reported on its website.
The 19 members of President Nicos Anastasiades’ ruling Disy party abstained. Party spokesperson Averof Neofitu reportedly said “God help you” in response to the vote.
The Parliament opened the session on the key bailout vote earlier in the day. “There is no doubt, this is the most crucial session of our Parliament. There is unrest among the people and they deserve an answer,” George Varnavas, a lawmaker from the socialist Edek party, told the assembly ahead of the vote.
Outside, an AFP reporter said thousands of protesters were lining the streets leading to the Parliament building in Nicosia, many of them waving Russian flags.
They held up banners reading “No more clowns,” “Hands off Cyprus,” and “The people do not own, do not pay, do not sell.”
Uncertainty about the vote came despite changes by Cyprus to the terms of the 10 billion euro ($13 billion) deal sealed with eurozone partners at the weekend. The changes were negotiated in response to an angry backlash at home and jitters that roiled global markets. The original one-time levy on bank savings below 20,000 euros was dropped, but the 6.75 percent levy on deposits of 20,000-100,000 euros and the 9.9 percent levy for amounts above 100,000 euros were retained.
The changes prompted a warning by Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades that the bailout deal could collapse, as it would now no longer “yield the estimated 5.8 billion euros agreed by the eurogroup.”
The emergency session of Parliament came soon after IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged Cyprus to meet its commitments under the 10 billion euro ($13 billion) deal sealed with eurozone partners over the weekend.