The weekend announcement that Cyprus would impose a tax on bank accounts as part of a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout by the European Union broke with previous practice that depositors’ savings were sacrosanct. The euro and stock markets fell on concern the euro zone crisis was returning.
Before the vote, which is too close to call, the government was working to soften the blow to smaller savers by tilting more of the tax towards those with deposits greater than 100,000 euros ($130,700. Many of these depositors Russians and the planned levy has already elicited an angry reaction from President Vladimir Putin.
The government says Cyprus has no choice but to accept the bailout with the tax on deposits, or go bankrupt.
A Cypriot source told Reuters the introduction of a tax-free threshold for smaller bank deposits - maybe up to 20,000 euros - was under discussion but not yet agreed.
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Europe’s economic crisis is nibbling away at demand for chocolate, the affordable treat once thought of as recession proof.
Times are tough enough now that even the market for this modest luxury is struggling in Europe, analysts say.
“For the first part of the recession we thought chocolate would be recession proof, and then we said recession resistant, and now I think people are just getting ground down,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, global food and drink analyst at Mintel.
“I have not seen this much of a slowing in the market in the time I’ve been watching it.”