People queue up to make a transaction at an ATM outside a branch of Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus, on March 21, 2013. A package of measures dubbed "plan B" was decided upon by Cypriot political leaders on Thursday, as the finance minister of financially distressed Cyprus is engaged in rescue talks with Russian officials in Moscow. (Xinhua/Huang Yanan)
NICOSIA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- A package of measures dubbed "plan B" was decided upon by Cypriot political leaders on Thursday, as the finance minister of financially distressed Cyprus is engaged in rescue talks with Russian officials in Moscow.
Cyprus has been given a reprieve until Monday by the European Central Bank (ECB), which has announced that it will continue providing emergency support to the crippled banking system until Monday.
"Thereafter, Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) could only be considered if an EU/IMF programme is in place that would ensure the solvency of the concerned banks," an ECB statement issued in Frankfurt said.
"Plan B" aims to raise 5.8 billion euros (7.48 billion U.S. dollars), the sum originally expected to be generated by imposing a scaled tax on bank deposits which was rejected on Tuesday by the Cypriot parliament.
Raising this sum has been set as a condition by international lenders for a 10-billion-euro rescue package for Cyprus, which is on the verge of a financial default.
The plan was discussed at a long emergency meeting of political leaders called by President Nicos Anastasiades early on Thursday.
No details of the plan were immediately announced, but Averof Neophytou, a close associate of Anastasiades, said that there had been a unanimous decision to establish a "Solidarity Fund".
Asked about the possibility of Russian support, Neophytou said "it is the will of all involved that we will remain in the eurozone, even if we can find help from any third country."
Neophytou refused to comment on a statement by the leader of another party that the issue of bringing back a tax on bank deposits was not discussed.
ATHENS, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Greece has a Plan B regarding Cypriot banks operating in the country to minimize any repercussions from the Cyprus financial crisis, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Wednesday in Athens.
"Cypriot banks cannot remain closed for a long time; otherwise the Cypriot economy will be destroyed. A solution needs to be clinched within the next few hours, otherwise Greece will do what it must do," Stournaras stressed, addressing the Greek parliament. Full story