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Cypriot banks to reopen after more than week with restrictions on withdrawals

Getty Images - A protester burns an EU flag during a demonstration against austerity measures on Wednesday, March 27 in Nicosia, Cyprus.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>A protester burns an EU flag during a demonstration against austerity measures on Wednesday, March 27 in Nicosia, Cyprus.
AP - Protesters rally behind a banner that reads 'No to bailout' during a demonstration on Wednesday, March 27, in Nicosia, Cyprus.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Protesters rally behind a banner that reads 'No to bailout' during a demonstration on Wednesday, March 27, in Nicosia, Cyprus.

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:15 p.m.
 

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Banks in Cyprus are to open for the first time in more than a week on Thursday, operating for six hours from noon Cyprus time, but restrictions will be in place on financial transactions to prevent people from draining their accounts.

Among the capital controls, cash withdrawals will be limited to 300 euros ($383) per person each day. No checks will be cashed, although people will be able to deposit them in their accounts, according to a ministerial decree.

The controls will be in place for four days.

Cyprus's banks were closed on March 16 as politicians scrambled to come up with a plan to raise $7.5 billion so the country would qualify for $12.9 billion in much-need bailout loans for its collapsed banking sector. The deal was finally reached in Brussels early Monday and imposes severe losses on deposits of over 100,000 euros in the country's two largest banks, Laiki and Bank of Cyprus.

Since the deal, Cypriot authorities have been rushing to introduce measures to prevent a rush of euros out of the country's banks when they reopen.

Other capital controls include a cap of 5,000 euros on transactions with other countries, provided the customer presents supporting documents. Payments above that amount will need special approval.

Travelers leaving the country won't be able to take with them anything over 1,000 euros in cash — as well as the equivalent sum in foreign currency.

Tuition fees and living expenses of up to 5,000 euros for three months will be permitted for overseas students, but documentation must be provided proving the student's relationship to the dispatcher.

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