NICOSIA -- The House of Representatives meets on Monday afternoon, with all indications that the vote on a bailout which includes an unprecedented tax on depositors could swing either way.
While Reuters reported that the government was negotiating changes to the tax to soften the blow on smaller depositors, Phileelftheros said passage of the billl in the 56 member House of Representatives, was uncertain. If all MPs are present, the bill requires 29 votes in favour.
Ruling Disy has 20 MPs, one of whom is abroad and is trying to make it back in time for the vote. Diko has said that it will vote under conditions. But according top Phileleftheros only five of its eight MPs will vote in favour, one is reported to be against and the other two have not made their intentions clear. The two opposition parties, Akel and Edek with 19 and five MPs respectively have already announced they will vote against. Edek wants the bailout renegotiated, while Akel's general secretary Andros Kyprianou has counter proposals to put the president. He did not elaborate. The Green Party's one MP, an independent and one of the two MPs from the European Party are also expected to reject the bailout, while the second European Party MP is reported to be expected to vote in favour.
Meanwhile,quoting informed sources Reuters said the Cypriot government was on Sunday discussing with lenders the possibility of changing the levy to 3.0 percent for deposits below 100,000 euros, and to 12.5 percent for above that sum. The proposed rates are curently 6.75% and 9.99%^.
The move to take a percentage of deposits, which could raise almost 6 billion euros, must be ratified by parliament, where no party has a majority. If it fails to do so, President Nicos Anastasiades has warned, Cyprus's two largest banks will collapse.