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Cyprus bank chairman resigns as protests erupt

Published: March 27, 2013
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Cypriots faced new worries Tuesday as the chairman of the island's biggest lender quit, hundreds of people protested against a huge international bailout and banks stayed closed for two more days.

Hundreds of students and bank staff demonstrated outside the presidential palace amid growing anger at the European Union and International Monetary Fund over the cripping terms of the 10-billion-euro ($13 billion) rescue package.

Bank of Cyprus chairman Andreas Artemis reportedly tendered his resignation due to concerns about the impact of the deal on his institution and the island's status as an offshore banking sector.

Finance Minister Michalis Sarris warned that the "haircut" that will be imposed on large deposits at the Bank of Cyprus could be greater than expected at 40 percent.

The agreement struck early Monday will also see second largest lender Laiki wound up, with the parts of it that are salvaged being merged into Bank of Cyprus, dealing a major blow to jobs and the availability of credit to consumers and small businesses.

Despite the deal, Cypriots endured an 11th day without access to banks after authorities ordered them to stay closed until Thursday, to prevent a run on deposits that could send the island into meltdown.


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