Cyprus's parliament overwhelmingly rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits as a condition for a European bailout on Tuesday, throwing euro zone efforts to rescue the latest casualty of the currency area's debt crisis into disarray. Conway G. Gittens reports.
It's the vote that was watched closely on Wall Street and by investors around the world. Lawmakers in Cyprus overwhelmingly rejected a proposed tax on bank deposits as part of a euro zone bailout. A stunning move in the life of the Euro zone after the bloc was able to push unfavorable austerity measures on larger members like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. Cyprus Socialist Party lawmaker Nikos Nikolaidis: SOUNDBITE: SOCIALIST PARTY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT NIKOS NIKOLAIDIS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We firmly believe that there are alternatives and that alternatives should be found." And on the streets of Nicosia - taxi driver Dino Constantinou had a warning for fellow euro zone citizens. SOUNDBITE: DINOS CONSTANTINOU, TAXI DRIVER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I want to send a message to all the citizens of the European Union: what has happened to Cyprus now is just the beginning and a test. They will follow - all the other European countries - Spain, Portugal, Italy and so on." The European Central Bank, in an effort to prevent a new chapter from opening up in Europe's long-running financial crisis, vowed to provide the capital needed to keep financial markets operating smoothly and says it will discuss the Cyprus rejection with the International Monetary Fund along with other EU partners.