Cypriot banks to remain closed until 28 March

26 March 2013

Cypriot banks are to remain closed until Thursday (28 March) after eurozone policymakers finally came to an agreement on a bailout package for the debt-stricken island.

Yesterday, it emerged that officials from Cyprus had struck a deal with their counterparts from elsewhere in the single currency bloc to avert its impending financial meltdown.

Under the terms of this agreement - which was reached just hours before a deadline set by the European Central Bank - the nation will receive emergency funding worth some €10 billion ($13 billion).

The winding down of Laiki - the country's second-biggest bank - will begin immediately as part of the deal and it has now emerged that its other financiers will not re-open until later this week.

During an address to the nation on television last night, president Nicos Anastasiades admitted the clauses of the bailout were "difficult", but insisted the package was "the best that we could achieve" under the circumstances.

"We leave behind the uncertainty and anxiety that we all lived through over the last few months and we look forward now to the future with optimism," he added.

By Asim Shah

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