UK customers escape bank levy

Around 15,000 savers in the UK arm of stricken Cypriot bank Laiki will see their deposits protected under British rules and will escape the Cyprus banking levy.

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EU task force to oversee Cyprus bailout spending

President Barroso called on Cyprus to "show unity and responsibility" when implementing the agreed rescue package. Credit: Barry Cronin/PA Wire

The European Commission has established a task force to provide "technical assistance to the Cypriot authorities" in implementing the €10 billion rescue package, EU President Jose Manuel Barroso has announced.

The body will be based in Brussels, with a support team in Nicosia, he said in a statement, and its work will "have a strong focus on employment, competitiveness and growth".

President Barroso said the agreed package for Cyprus was "not only about financial stability. It is about restarting the economy."

Regarding the support shown for Cyprus, he added: "As we have shown in the past, Europe faces its challenges together. We do not leave Member States facing a financial crisis alone."

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Russia to renegotiate Cyprus loan after EU bailout

Vladimir Putin recently criticised proposals for a bailout-enforced levy on Cypriot bank deposits as "unfair, unprofessional and dangerous". Credit: Ahmet Dumanli/AA/ABACAPRESS.COM

President Vladimir Putin has told his government to negotiate the restructuring of a Russian bailout loan to Cyprus, his spokesman has said.

The announcement signals Moscow's support for a €10 billion bailout, despite concern that Russian depositors in Cyprus could take losses as a result.

Cyprus had requested an extension of an existing €2.5 billion Russian loan, and a reduction in the interest it charges to 2.5 per cent from 4.5 per cent. Talks last week failed to agree on a restructuring.

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IMF chief Lagarde defends 'credible' Cyprus bailout

Christine Lagarde said the deal provides the basis for restoring trust in the Cypriot banking system. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has defended the Cyprus bailout amid claims the imposed deal leaves the island facing years of economic hardship.

Ms Lagarde said today's agreement provided a "comprehensive and credible plan" to deal with the country's problems.

"It addresses upfront the core problem of the banking system through a clear strategy that ensures debt sustainability and does not excessively burden the Cypriot taxpayer," she said.

"This agreement provides the basis for restoring trust in the banking system, which is key to supporting growth," she added.

Cyprus expats with savings under £85,000 spared

British expats with savings under £85,000 (€100,000) have been spared from being taxed by the Cypriot government as a result of the EU bailout deal.

But those among the island's 60,000 British expats with savings above that amount will have to pay a one-off levy as part of the restructuring of Cyprus' second-largest bank, Laiki.

The British government had said it would only compensate British Armed Forces personnel who lost out.

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