DISY, the ruling party of the South Cyprus is abstaining from the bank levy vote. The Finance Minister, Michael Sarris is rumoured to have offered his resignation, however, President Anastasiades has not yet accepted the resignation.
Update: Cyprus has voted no to the current tax levy bill.
Update: The leader of AKEL, the Communist party, Andros Kyprianou has said that there will be an attempt to control Cyprus economically and politically through this Eurogroup deal. He later suggested that the Eurogroup proposal be rejected.
Update: Finance Minister Sarris has denied rumours that he has offered to resign.
Update: The levy bill has been amended to exclude savings deposits under 20,000 euros from the bank tax. Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters continue to demonstrate outside the Cypriot parliament, as one MP after another is deeply critical of the country’s bailout plan.
Update: The European Central bank has warned that if parliament were to reject the levy then it would withdraw liquidity to the two largest Cypriot banks. This would put some 30 billion euros of deposits at risk. From there the whole financial system would be in danger.
Update: Britain has just sent an aeroplane with one million euros as cargo, to ensure that British military personnel have access to cash should ATMs and bank cards stop working. There remains the possibility of sending more money should the need arise.
Update: All parties are now threatening to abstain, with no vote taking place.
Update: Efi Xanthou of the Cyprus green Party said that whatever decision was made, as soon as the banks opened, there would be a “stampede” of investors rushing to withdraw their money. “No depositor, no matter how big or small their accounts, will feel safe,” Xanthou added.
Athina Kyriakidou, a member of the parliament and a coalition partner to the ruling Democratic Rally party, told CNBC that she would be proposing an amendment to the levy in an effort to avert Europe’s effort to “destroy Cyprus financially.”
All major financial markets have reacted negatively to this news. The Dow Jones has dropped 60 points just now and is at session lows for the day.