Cyprus lifts lim­its on clients of for­eign banks

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

NI­COSIA (AP) – Cypriot au­thor­i­ties have lifted money withdrawal and trans­fer re­stric­tions on is­land res­i­dent clients of 16 for­eign banks. The Fi­nance Min­istry said yes­ter­day that this ap­plies to res­i­dents of Cyprus who had ac­counts at those banks be­fore re­stric­tions on for­eign lenders do­ing busi­ness in the coun­try were im­posed on April 25. Be­fore yes­ter­day’s de­cree, only clients who were not per­ma­nent Cyprus res­i­dents en­joyed re­stric­tion-free ser­vices from those banks. Cyprus im­posed the re­stric­tions – in­clud­ing a 300-euro-per­day withdrawal limit – on all lenders in March to pre­vent a bank run af­ter it agreed a 23-bil­lion-euro res­cue pack­age with its euro-area part­ners and the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund. Some re­stric­tions have since been lifted.

Cypriot-Greek pipe­line.

A pro­posed gas pipe­line to link Cyprus to Crete and then main­land Greece or Italy will be in a Euro­pean Union list of strate­gic projects el­i­gi­ble for fi­nan­cial sup­port, Cypriot of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. Cyprus has high hopes its nat­u­ral gas re­serves can be de­vel­oped quickly to help re­vive its bro­ken econ­omy. Its pri­or­ity is to build a liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) ter­mi­nal, but a pipe­line could have ad­van­tages for Europe. LNG, which can be shipped any­where in the world, is typ­i­cally sold to the most lu­cra­tive mar­ket. A pipe­line would guar­an­tee that some gas sup­plies reached EU con­sumers. “The Euro­pean Union will in­clude the East Med Pipe­line in the re­vised list of projects of com­mon in­ter­est within the South­ern Cor­ri­dor for gas,” Ge­orge Sham­mas, chair­man of the Cyprus En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity, said. Cyprus En­ergy Min­is­ter Ge­orge Lakkotrypis also said he had in­for­ma­tion the EU would in­clude the pipe­line, al­though he added that Cyprus had to study the fea­si­bil­ity of the link. The South­ern Cor­ri­dor is the EU name for routes to ship gas from Cen­tral Asia, the Mid­dle East and the Eastern Mediter­ranean basin to di­ver­sify sup­plies and re­duce de­pen­dence on Rus­sian gas.

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