Cyprus to stay in eurozone, president says

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades vowed Friday to keep his country in the eurozone as Cypriots adapted to a second day of restrictions on their use of the euro to prevent a financial collapse.

The government averted panic withdrawals Thursday when it allowed banks to open for the first time in almost two weeks, and it eased some of those restrictions on Friday. The curbs on access to cash are designed to prevent a run on deposits after Anastasiades forged an agreement with the eurozone on a financial rescue that is being funded in part by those with deposits over 100,000 euros in the two largest banks.

"We're not about to leave the euro," Anastasiades said in a speech in Nicosia. "The dramatic developments in our country must find us united, so that we can successfully implement the euro group accord."

European officials have urged the country to move quickly to lift the restrictions, the first time that a member of the eurozone has imposed controls on the movement of capital. The curbs include a 300 euro ($384) daily limit on withdrawals and restrictions on transfers to accounts outside the country. Customers can transfer abroad at most 5,000 euros per month from a given financial institution.

How long the measures will remain in force is unclear. The central bank Friday published a decree lifting all restrictions on credit, debit and prepay card transactions within Cyprus.

There were few lines at banks in Nicosia on Friday.

Cyprus to stay in eurozone, president says 03/29/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 2:45am]

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