EC: up to Cyprus to find alternatives to deposit tax

The European Commission, which with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund comprise the troika of foreign lenders that have been in talks for a financial rescue of Cyprus, said on Wednesday that it was up to Nicosia to find alternatives to a bank deposit tax that would have raised 5.8 billion euros but which was rejected by the Cypriot Parliament on Tuesday.

“It is now for the Cypriot authorities to present an alternative scenario respecting the debt sustainability criteria and corresponding financing parameters,» a spokesman for Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn.

“Decisions are taken by the member states and no decision can be taken without their cooperation, including Cyprus,» said spokesman Olivier Bailly.

Bailly added that the commission had made clear that it would accept an alternative solution that did not include a levy on deposits below 100,000 euros. He added however that «the Cypriot authorities did not accept such an alternative scenario.»

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