Cyprus debate started, but no party will back haircut

Cyprus's House of Representatives convenes on Tuesday evening to discuss the revised bill on the controversial bailout measure the government wants to pass, but it is all but certain it will not get enough votes to become law.

All parties have decided to oppose the draft law that provides for the haircut on bank accounts in excess of 20,000 euros, as reports say that even ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) has decided to abstain from voting.

The session began at 6.10 p.m., with voting expected to take place after 8 p.m.

Earlier Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades told Swedish television that there is an alternative plan that the Nicosia government will follow should the bill be voted down. “We have a Plan B,” he said.

According to state broadcaster CyBC, the alternative plan concerns the nationalization of social security funds and the creation of a state property company that will offer guarantees to battered sectors of the economy, with the involvement of both the European Union and the Russian government.

More than 2,000 citizens are protesting outside the Parliament in Nicosia, but police have cordoned off the area around the building.