Nightly News   |  March 18, 2013

‘It’s theft’: Cyprus residents furious over bank deposit tax

To help pay for the $13 billion European bailout, the government plans to take up to 10 percent from all savings accounts, angering those who say they aren’t responsible for the economic crisis. CNBC’s Sue Herera reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> 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