Cypriot students at UoN have been cut off from their savings and are unable to access their bank accounts following the recent financial crisis in Cyprus.
In order to get the 10 billion Euros Cyprus needs from the eurozone and the IMF, it must contribute 5.8 billion Euros to the EU.
There are approximately 400 Cypriot students at Nottingham. 20 were protesting outside the Portland Building in an attempt to raise awareness of the financial difficulty facing all Cypriot nationals.
In the first policy of its kind in Europe, the Cypriot government, in negotiations with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, proposed a one-off levy on all savings.
Cypriot students protesting told Impact that this was a “personal violation of savings”, and that this move was going to become a “systematic threat for the whole of Europe”.
The levy has now been scrapped, however one of the main banks in Cyprus, Laiki bank, is set to be restructured; Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades said that the “resolution process” will protect savings of up to €100,000.
However Cypriot student Emma Charalambous told Impact that “still jobs and assets will be lost”.
Like many students from Cyprus, Emma is going to have to reconsider her plans for further study. Going on to study for a Masters is now no longer an economically viable option given that she is unlikely to get a loan from the banks.
Banks are set to remain closed at least until next week. Students at the protest on campus said that many of them had planned to go home over Easter, however it is now unlikely that they will have the funds to do so.
Emma noted that Cyprus was following in Greece’s footsteps; “last year my Greek roommate was in the same position with the bankruptcy of many Greek companies and an increase in taxes”.
The European Central Bank has warned the Cypriot government that it has until Monday night before it will withdraw its assistance.