Euro zone to pay $10 billion in Cyprus bailout

By REUTERS
March 16, 2013 07:26

BRUSSELS- The euro zone struck a deal on Saturday to hand Cyprus a bailout worth 10 billion euros ($13 billion), but demanded depositors in its banks forfeit some money to stave off bankruptcy despite the risks of a wider bank run.

Cyprus becomes the fifth country after Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain to turn to the euro zone for financial help in the wake of the region's debt crisis.

In a radical departure from previous aid packages, euro zone ministers forced Cyprus' savers, almost half of whom are believed to be non-resident Russians, to pay up to 10 percent of their deposits to raise almost 6 billion euros.

"I wish I was not the minister to do this," Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris said after 10 hours of late-night talks where euro zone finance ministers agreed the package.


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