Parliament in Cyprus passes international bailout deal

Women withdraw cash from machines in Nicosia, Cyprus, 30 April  Cypriots are now limited to withdrawing no more than 300 euros a day

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Parliament in Cyprus has approved the country's international bailout after warnings that the alternative would be financial collapse.

MPs voted through the loan package by 29 votes to 27.

The tiny eurozone state secured a loan package worth 10bn euros (£8.4; $13bn) from its EU partners and the International Monetary Fund.

In return it must raise 13bn euros, largely through banking reform.

An early proposal to raise money through a levy on all bank deposits was quickly withdrawn.

But anger has continued smouldering. Under the bailout, depositors will be forced to take major losses on savings over 100,000 euros, and capital controls were imposed in March.

The Cypriot financial crisis developed because of its exposure to Greece's economic problems.

'Enslavement deal'

No single party had a majority in the 56-member parliament but the three-party, centre-right coalition in power had 30 seats in total - one more than needed to pass the bailout.

President Nicos Anastasiades had appealed to lawmakers to act with the national interest in mind.

"What we're called upon today to do is to adopt a loan agreement that will allow our country to breathe and to give us the chance to overcome whichever problems we're facing amid this crisis," he told reporters.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides told state radio: "We have had enough of delusions.

"We don't have another choice. Whoever has one should tell us what it is."

But George Perdikis, an MP for the Greens party, said before the vote: "A 'yes' from Cyprus's parliament is by far the biggest defeat in our 8,000-year history.

"Its democratically elected representatives have a gun to their head to agree to a deal of enslavement."

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