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Cyprus Not Leaving Euro, Bank Withdrawal Curbs To Last A Month



NICOSIA - Cyprus has no intention of leaving the euro zone, President Nicos Anastasiades said in a press conference on Friday.

“In no way will we experiment with the future of our country,” declared President Anastasiades. He said the situation of the country had been “contained” following its 10 billion euro bailout deal, reports the BBC. "We have averted the risk of bankruptcy," he said.

On Thursday, banks on the island-nation opened for the first time in two weeks and although there were big queues, the frenzy that the media had predicted, did not happen, with Cypriots remaining calm.

According to the Guardian, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides announced that the limit on withdrawals would be in place for about a month – just 24 hours after the population was told that the measures would only last for a week. This is the first time that capital controls have been imposed on a euro zone member state. They aim to prevent an exodus that would destroy what is left of the Cypriot banking system.

Anastasiadis, who was only elected one month ago, says the AP, also announced that he would be taking a 25% wage cut, with many ministers also taking a 20% cut, but many Cypriots feel that they are unlikely to be affected by the crisis situation on the island.

In the Times today ! . #cyprus twitter.com/AnthonyPepeEA/…

— Charlie Perdios (@AnthonyPepeEA) March 29, 2013

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

My Gaza Diary: The Massacre Has Resumed, Nowhere To Hide

Three days since the truce ended, the Israeli army announced that it had launched 10,000 airstrikes on Gaza since the beginning of the war. Total war continues, with the invader’s fiercest fight waged against life itself.

Photo of Palestinians among rubble in Gaza

Palestinians stand among rubble in Rafah, Gaza

Moustafa Ibrahim*

RAFAH — On the evening of the 57th day of the war, I was facing a situation that no one would envy.

A friend from Jordan called to tell me her brother and his children, who had been displaced from Gaza City to Rafah, were injured by a bombing in the Al-Geneina neighborhood in eastern Rafah, where I now live. She wanted to check on them. As soon as she mentioned her brother's name, I knew that he had been killed. I told her: “I will ask at the hospital, and will let you know.”

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At that moment I stopped thinking. What would I say to her? It is not easy to be the one who tells a friend their loved one is dead.

The next day, the friend called back to say she’d found out her brother had been killed, and that his wife and children had been injured but were fine. She asked this time for help to search for her five-year-old nephew, who was missing and had not wound up at the hospital. After hours of searching, they found his body. He died too from the bombing.

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