Nightly News | March 18, 2013
>>> now to this bank crisis in cyprus , but this time european leaders decided to take a chunk of that bailout money directly out of the bank accounts of everyone in the country. it was a shocking move heard around the globe today, and the fear on the mediterranean island rippled through world financial markets today. our report it on tonight from nbc's sue herrera.
>> people rushed to cash machines after word spread of the government's unprecedented plan to take money from personal bank accounts . to beat the government to their savings, many waited on long lines before finding themselves empty-handed when atms ran out of cash.
>> i plan to go to the bank and withdraw all the money i have in there. i can't trust them anymore.
>> reporter: to help pay for the $13 billion european bailout, the government plans to take up to 10% from all savings accounts .
>> you can't just take out of people's savings, can you?
>> reporter: european officials say it's sign on and pay up or go belly up.
>> we want something that will last, something that is durable and will be sustainable.
>> reporter: the president of cyprus held a meeting for ways to soften the blow for shell-shocked citizens.
>> we fully support the efforts of people in their efforts to bring financial stability to cyprus .
>> reporter: still, residents say they're furious about paying for an economic crisis they didn't create.
>> find the people responsible for this mess, prosecute them, put them in prison.
>> reporter: european leaders say what's happening in the small island country could impact financial stability around the world.
>> the real question now is, is this an isolated case or is this going to be something we're seeing all around.
>> reporter: there's always a fear of what happens overseas can spread to the united states . we call it contagion. we checked around and nobody is expecting anything of that sort, but it's early days and we'll be keeping a very close eye on the story.
>> sue herrera visiting us from