- Lines formed at ATMs as people scrambled to pull their money out
- Word spread that rescue package included a one-off levy on deposits
- Restrictions stopping people emptying accounts or moving money abroad
- Up to 3,000 British service personnel are based on the bankrupt island
- President Nicos Anastasiades agreed to raid with European finance chiefs
- Said country in ‘state of emergency’ and not acting would be ‘catastrophic’
- But expats accused the island of ‘plain theft’ as violent protests sparked
- Britons have about £1.7b of deposits on island and could lose up to £170m
- Parliamentary official: Vote scheduled for today pushed back to tomorrow
George Osborne vowed today that those serving in Britain’s military or government in Cyprus will be protected after European finance chiefs ordered an unprecedented raid on personal bank accounts.
Up to 60,000 British savers are to lose thousands of pounds each as expats in Cyprus have their savings decimated in part of a painful bid to bail out the bankrupt island.
The Chancellor said the financial situation in Cyprus was ‘an example of what happens if you don’t show the world that you can pay your way’, adding: ‘We are not part of the bailout.’
Panic: A move by Cypriot authorities that could see up to ten per cent of bank deposits seized to bail out the bankrupt sparked panic and violent protests. One disgruntled customer parked a bulldozer in front of a bank in the coastal town of Limassol in protest
However he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘The Cypriot banks in Britain are not going to be included in this bank tax. It’s a very difficult situation for people who live in Cyprus.
‘But for people serving in our military and government out in Cyprus, we’re going to compensate anyone who is affected by this bank tax – people who are doing their duty for our country.’
Britons have about £1.7billion of deposits in Cyprus and could lose up to £170million. The Cypriot government has agreed to seize up to ten per cent of savings and use the money to bail out the island’s crisis-hit banking system.
The move sparked panic and violent protests yesterday as crowds desperately tried to withdraw their money at cash machines.