The new bail-out deal for Cyprus has ‘put an end to the uncertainty’ around the country’s economy and will enable it to make a new start, Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told a news conference.
Dijsselbloem, who chairs the influential Eurogroup, said the new deal, which involves restructuring the banking sector, is a better method than making savers with less than €100,000 contribute to the rescue. That deal was rejected by the Cypriot parliament last week.
‘The deal now on the table is better because it is more focused on solving problems at the big banks,’ he said.
The new deal involves winding down the country’s second biggest bank Laiki (Popular) Bank and levying an extra tax on savers with more than €100,000.
Dijsselbloem came under fire last week for the previous plan, which some Dutch MPs said gave the impression of being put together in a hurry.
Others said the decision to tax people with savings of less than €100,000 could have a knock-on effect in Spain and Portugal, where people are also worried about the safety of their savings.
Junior Dutch finance minister Frans Weekers, who has taken Dijsselbloem’s seat in the Eurogroup, said the new deal is a tough package and the EU will keep a close eye on its implementation.
A weekend opinion poll by Maurice de Hond showed some 37% of the Dutch think the EU must stop Cyprus from going bankrupt while 51% thought the EU should not help.
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