Cyprus racing to complete alternative rescue plan

Protestors hold Cyprus' flags during a rally outside the parliament in capital Nicosia, C...


Sat Mar 23, 10:16 AM UTC

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Politicians in Cyprus are racing to complete an alternative plan to raise the funds necessary for the country to qualify for an international bailout, with a potential bankruptcy just three days away.

Finance officials were meeting with representatives of its prospective creditors and working on several new laws Saturday, including a crucial bill that would impose some form of a tax on bank deposits.

The percentages and where the tax would apply are unclear, but a lawmaker said Friday it could be less than 1 percent on all deposits.

Late Friday, Parliament passed nine bills, including three key ones to restructure ailing banks, restrict financial transactions in emergencies and set up a "solidarity fund."

Cyprus needs to raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) to secure its international bailout.