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Cyprus to vote on new plan, Europe skeptical

By Menelaos Hadjicostis

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 22 2013 9:26 a.m. MDT

Cyprus also offered stakes in some of its banks, but there were no takers in Moscow for that, either. Siluanov also said they were not discussing providing a new loan to Cyprus as the EU has set a debt limit for Cyprus.

Back in Nicosia, worried Laiki employees gathered near parliament for a second day to protest the bank's restructuring, which would break the lender in two. One side would take on the soured investments to allow the stronger side to survive.

"The bank is finished, we'll lose our jobs and I'm worried about my kids," Laiki employee Nikos Tsiangos said, standing behind barricades and a cordon of police that have blocked the way to Parliament. "They've brought us to the brink, the Europeans wanted to destroy our economy and they've done it."

The bills lawmakers were considering also included setting up an "Investment Solidarity Fund" to receive donations from the church and to pool revenue from other measures. They were also due to vote on restricting banking transactions in times of crisis.

A vote on the laws had been scheduled for Friday morning, but was pushed back as negotiations continued.

Separately, President Nicos Anastasiades announced there had been agreement for Greek subsidiaries of Cypriot banks to be sold, "with significant benefit for the Cypriot side," a statement from Anastasiades' office said.

Europe also turned up the pressure on Cyprus. Luxembourg's finance Minister Luc Frieden told Germany's Inforadio that Cyprus "certainly must change a very great deal in its financial sector ..... I see among some euro states little financial room for more concessions to Cyprus."

Geir Moulson in Berlin and Nataliya Vasiliyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.

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