Ligi: negative decision by Cyprus would irk partners

  • 2013-03-19

Jurgen Ligi.

TALLINN - A move by the parliament of Cyprus to reject a 7 to 10 percent levy on its citizens' saving would rile the European Union and IMF, said Estonian Minister of Finance Jurgen Ligi, reports Estonian Public Broadcasting.

“I don’t know exactly what their alternatives are, or what Cyprus will offer […] But I would advise them to think twice, as they have angered their partners for a year now,” said Ligi, speaking on ERR radio today.

According to Ligi, Cyprus has not had serious alternative partners. “The left-wing government has said no to everyone and has tried to use Russian money to alleviate the problem and to postpone it.”

Christos Styliandis, a spokesman for Cyprus's government, said today that its parliament is likely to reject the idea of the levy.

The parliament is set to convene in the evening to vote on the measure, having previously twice postponed the vote.

The one-time tax of 9.9 percent on savings of over 100,000 euros and 6.7 percent on smaller savings is a condition for a 10 billion euro loan from the EU and IMF to rescue the nation's banks.

Russian citizens hold $19 billion (15 billion euros) in savings in banks in the country, reported Moody's.