Comment: "Either Way, Cyprus Destined for Ruin"

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Michael Nystrom's picture

"Either Way, Cyprus Destined for Ruin"

It won't be like Iceland... What a study in contrasts this will be.

Islanders also fear that as the bank levies bite, businesses and big investors will have to start laying off staff, heralding high levels of unemployment.

Around 70 per cent of Cypriots are employed in the financial services and banking sector, a number that dwarfs the 20 per cent working in tourism.

“People are worried not just because they could lose their savings but because they could lose their jobs too,” said Ioanna Constantinou, 24, who works in the financial services industry in Nicosia, the Cypriot capital.

“I think a lot of people will be out of work soon and looking for jobs. The young people, especially, will go abroad because you can’t live with this level of uncertainty,” said Miss Constantinou, who like many Cypriots attended a British university. “The banking sector is finished, we have lost all credibility – who is going to want to bring their money to Cyprus now?”

As Cypriots anxiously wait to see exactly what the deal struck in Brussels will entail, shops in Nicosia were all but deserted, with many offering discounts of up to 50 per cent.

Restaurants in the city's picturesque old town are normally jammed at the weekend, but on Saturday night many were all but empty.