1. ITV Report

Questions remain after last-minute Cyprus bailout

The head of the EU rescue fund said Cyprus should receive the first emergency funds in May. Photo: REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

Some details of the Cypriot rescue package forged in last night's negotiations with eurozone leaders in Brussels, which staved off the island's imminent banking collapse, are known.

Cyprus gets to keep one of the two banks, small savings are insured and lots of Russian money escapes the "haircut" (the term given to the forced loss on the value of savers' investments).

There is a commitment that Cyprus will reduce the size of its banking sector down to the EU average and, for the first time, share and bond holders as well as depositors are taking a hit.

But the agreement also left a lot of questions unanswered:

  • When and how will the banks reopen? What happens then? A bill passed regarding capital controls sets out the measure that can be used, but where will the ball settle?
  • Do they need to push something through parliament? No one is quite sure. They have to see some sort of final deal text and compare it with what they already have. But as everyone is recuperating from the day and night before EU officials are so far unable to answer that question.
  • What will happen to the country's pension funds? Will they also be hit by the haircut?
  • What will happen with the €9 billion Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) money that the Laiki bank (the island's second-largest, which will be shut down) has received from the the ECB?
  • How much Russian money is actually affected by this?

Only when those questions are all answered will a more accurate value of the cost of the Cypriot bailout be known.

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