Cyprus: Cash, Security Control For Banks Reopening
In the capital, Nicosia, armed police officers guarded several trucks carrying containers arriving at the country's Central Bank, while a helicopter hovered overhead.
The contents of the trucks could not be independently confirmed, although state-run television said they were carrying cash flown in from Frankfurt for the bank reopening.
Meanwhile, private security firm G4S will dispatch 180 of its staff to all bank branches across the island to keep a lid on any possible trouble, said John Argyrou, managing director of the firm's Cypriot arm.
"Our presence there will be for the comfort of both bank staff and clients, but police will also be present," he said.Argyrou said he doesn't foresee any serious trouble unfolding once banks open their doors because people had time to "digest" what has transpired. "There may be some isolated incidents, but it's in our culture to be civil and patient, so I don't expect anything serious." Another 120 staff from G4S would be assigned money transportation duties. In Nicosia Wednesday night, several hundred demonstrators marched from the European Union's offices in the capital to Parliament to protest the bailout plan. Before its collapse, Cyprus's banking sector grew to nearly eight times the size of the country's economy, mainly on the back of substantial deposits from Russia. This sparked accusations that the country was being used by Russian criminals to launder their money. Over the past week, the government in Moscow has criticized Europe's handling of the crisis in Cyprus. Russian millionaire businessman Andrey Dashin told the Associated Press in an interview that he doesn't believe his fellow countrymen would rush to pull businesses or money out of the country once banks reopen, despite the fact that many will take a hit from a tax on accounts over 100,000 euros in both Bank of Cyprus and Laiki.
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