“Cyprus’ parliament on Sunday postponed a debate and vote on a controversial levy on all bank deposits that the cash-strapped country’s creditors had demanded in exchange for (EURO)10 billion ($13 billion) in rescue money.
The vote, which had been expected later Sunday, has been pushed back to Monday afternoon, parliamentary official Antonis Koutalianos said.
The announcement set off an immediate scramble among top European officials, with reports that the European Central Bank was pressuring Cypriot authorities to hold the vote without delay.
The stakes are high for the tiny island nation of one million people, because a rejection of the levy by lawmakers could push Cyprus into bankruptcy and possibly out of the common euro currency. Officials also fear a massive run Tuesday on Cypriot banks – after a national holiday on Monday – no matter which way the voting goes.