18 March 2013
Cyprus's parliament has delayed a vote on a solution to sort out its money problems. The 10bn-euro ($13bn) payout agreed by the EU and IMF demands that all bank customers pay a one-off tax and this has led to large cash withdrawals.
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After the furious public reaction to this bailout deal, the fight now turns to parliament. MPs will debate the new tax before it is voted upon later on today (Monday). And it's by no means certain to pass, with some coalition members set to rebel.
The President argued in a televised address last night that the deal was the only way to avoid bankruptcy. But in an attempt to soften the blow, he is now trying to reduce the levy on those with smaller deposits.
If the bill is rejected by MPs, today's bank holiday might be extended so as to avoid a run on the banks. And all the while, those in debt-stricken countries outside Cyprus are watching to see if this levy will set a precedent and whether they should fear for their savings too.
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- bailout deal
agreement to do something in exchange for a payment
- set to rebel
planning to disagree with the proposals
- a televised address
a speech or announcement made on television
not being able to pay what it owes
- to soften the blow
to make a difficult thing easier to accept
- smaller deposits
less money saved in a bank account
- a run on the banks
a rush to take out as much money as possible from the banks
- set a precedent
to do something that may be copied by a lot of other people