Security high as Cypriot banks reopen

28 March 2013

Cypriot banks are preparing to open their doors for the first time in almost two weeks following the period of economic turmoil and uncertainty.

Financiers were ordered to remain shut while policymakers in Nicosia negotiated an international bailout to save the country's ailing financial system from complete meltdown but, now an agreement has been reached, they are allowed to open again from this morning (28 March).

Security around bank branches is tight as officials fear a backlash from members of the public angered by the decision to prevent them from accessing their own money.

For the first time, a eurozone member state is imposing strict capital controls on its citizens with the Cypriot government limiting the amount people can withdraw from banks to €300 ($383) per day.

However, the administration has insisted such measures are temporary and have only been implemented to "safeguard the stability of the system". It added that they will be reviewed every day with a view to lifting them "as soon as circumstances allow".

By Asim Shah

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