Cypriot lawmakers overwhelmingly reject bank levy
Nicosia - Cypriot lawmakers rejected a tax levy on bank deposits on Tuesday, forcing the eastern Mediterranean country into unchartered territory as bankruptcy looms without urgent bailout funding from international lenders.Lawmakers voted 36 against in the 56-seat parliament. There were no votes in favour of the bill, which had been amended earlier Tuesday to protect small deposit holders from the controversial tax. Nineteen members abstained and one member was absent.
President Nicos Anastasiades said he respected the vote in parliament on the one-off tax after several parliamentarians said it was a "question of honour to say no," as hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside parliament chanting, "We are not the slaves of the 21st century."
Parliament President Giannakis Omirou said some were trying to turn the European Union from a community of solidarity into an area of poverty where it will be a "Europe of colossal differences between North and South."//DPA