european parliament chief raises concerns over cyprus deal
Last Updated : GMT 02:35:04
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European Parliament chief raises concerns over Cyprus deal

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today European Parliament chief raises concerns over Cyprus deal

Berlin - AFP

EU Parliament president Martin Schulz called on Sunday for small-scale bank customers in Cyprus to be protected under its EU bailout, saying any solution must be "socially acceptable". "The participation of bank customers is right," he told Welt am Sonntag's online edition, but added that ordinary citizens were not responsible for the problem. As a condition for a desperately-needed 10-billion-euro bailout for Cyprus, fellow eurozone countries and international creditors have imposed a levy of up to 9.9 per cent on all deposits in the island's banks. It is the first eurozone bailout in which private depositors are having to help foot the bill. "The solution must be socially acceptable," Schulz warned. "It must be corrected, for instance with a tax exemption limit of 25,000 euros," he added, suggesting that amount should remain tax free before a levy kicked in on further assets. Under the bailout deal, deposits of more than 100,000 euros held by all residents of Cyprus will be hit with a 9.9 per cent charge. Below that threshold, the levy drops to 6.75 per cent. Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have welcomed the agreement, which must be approved by Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag. Rainer Bruederle, a leading member of coalition partners the Free Democrats, said his party has not so far decided whether to support the rescue deal. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Saturday he hoped the programme could go before lawmakers next month. "In the second half of April we could then present to the Bundestag the negotiated programme with all details and ask for concluding approval," he said in a statement. A spokesman for the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, told Die Welt that the Brussels talks that had agreed the bailout Saturday had failed to address many issues regarding Cyprus's financial system. Greens parliamentary group leader Juergen Trittin told Sunday's Bild newspaper that his party needed clarification of Cyprus's tax policy before any possible backing of the deal.

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