telegraph.co.uk / By James Quinn and Ben Leach / March 16, 2013, 8:58AM GMT
Cyprus is to receive a €10 billion (£8.7 billion) bail-out from the eurozone to recapitalise its ailing banking system in return for a series of drastic measures which will hit the country’s savers.
The Mediterranean island nation becomes the fifth country to turn to the eurozone, following in the footsteps of Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain.
The emergency funding will be used to prop up the country’s banks which were hit by the financial restructuring of nearby Greece.
The Cypriot banking system had grown to be eight times the size of the country’s fledgling economy – which accounts for just 0.2pc of the eurozone’s gross domestic product.
But in a departure from previous bail-outs, the country’s savers are being asked to make sacrifices.
The terms of the deal mean that Cyprus’s savers will sacrifice up to 10pc of their deposits in a move which will raise as much as €6 billion.