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TheStreet Open House

Cyprus Delays Vote on Bank Levy

"It's a lose-lose situation. There will be a huge deposit withdrawal from Cypriot banks with or without a (levy)," said Cyprus Greens lawmakers Giorgos Perdikis. "We should have the courage to make the right decisions that will restore the public's confidence which was drastically shaken."

To counterbalance their cash loss, depositors will receive Cypriot bank bonds. Neophytou said there are efforts to back up those bonds -- which have little value now -- with Cyprus' newfound offshore gas reserves, although extraction is still several years away.

"Now the faith in Cyprus as a place where it is convenient to keep one's money will be undermined," Anatoly Aksakov, president of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Aksakov also suggested some of the Russian money now deposited in Cypriot banks will move back to Russia.

Meanwhile, Britain's Treasury chief said the government will compensate about 3,500 U.K. troops who will lose money to Cyprus's bailout tax.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said Sunday the government would compensate troops and civil servants. But those among the 59,000 British residents of Cyprus who not working for the U.K. military or the government could still be out of pocket.

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AP Writer James Heintz in Moscow contributed.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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