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塞浦路斯存款征税政策引各界不满

作者:未知 来源:未知 2013-03-19 我要评论( )

上周末,塞浦路斯政府与欧元集团达成总额为100亿欧元的救助协议。协议规定,塞浦路斯银行要向储户一次性征税,10万欧元以上存款的税率为9.9%,10万欧元以下存款的税率为6.75%。此政策可为塞浦路斯筹得58亿欧元的资金,减少其获得外部援助资金的数量。这一议案公布后引来各界不满,塞浦路斯民众纷纷涌向银行提款,但银行款项已被冻结,要等到议会最终表决结束后才能解冻。欧元区各国财长也表示,希望塞浦路斯政府能够对十万欧元以下储户采取保护政策。这一协议同时也招来该国存款和投资大户——俄罗斯方面的不满,俄罗斯总统普京称此项征税议案“不公平、不专业、而且危险”。

自欧洲金融危机爆发以来,欧盟各国一直对十万欧元以下存款采取保护政策。观察人士认为,塞浦路斯此举违背了这一保护政策,同时担心这一做法会危及欧元区其他国家储户的信心。塞浦路斯议会原定当地时间17日就存款征税议案进行表决,但因各方意见不统一已将表决时间推后到当地时间19日晚6点。有报道称,提请表决的议案或将十万欧元以下储户的税率降低到3%,而十万欧元以上的税率提至12.5%。

Finance ministers from the eurozone have asked Cyprus to reduce the burden on small investors from a proposed levy on savings, linked to a bailout.

Plans for a one-off tax of 6.75% on savings up to 100,000 euros ($130,000) have outraged Cypriots.

Banks in Cyprus are to remain closed until Thursday, as efforts to revise an international bailout package continue.

A parliamentary vote on the package has been repeatedly postponed, but is now expected on Tuesday.

The 10bn-euro bailout agreed with the EU and IMF demands that all bank customers pay a one-off levy.

The government's efforts to shift more of the burden onto wealthier depositors enraged Russians, who form the bulk of overseas investors and have deposits worth billions of dollars in Cypriot banks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the proposed levy "unfair, unprofessional and dangerous", and Moscow has expressed frustration Russia was not included in European decision-making on Cyprus.

Under the currently agreed terms of the levy, depositors with less than 100,000 euros in Cyprus accounts would pay a one-off tax of 6.75%, while those with sums over that threshold would pay 9.9%.

But the move has outraged Cypriots and sparked heavy cash withdrawals from banks.

Since the start of the financial crisis there has been a guarantee that deposits under 100,000 euros in banks in the EU would be protected.

Many observers believe the Cypriot levy breaks the spirit of that agreement, and there is concern that it could also damage the confidence of depositors in other eurozone countries, reports the BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels.

Eurozone finance ministers - the Eurogroup - discussed the situation in a conference call on Monday evening.

Following the talks, its president Jeroen Dijsselbloem issued a statement saying the group "continues to be of the view that small depositors should be treated differently from large depositors and reaffirms the importance of fully guaranteeing deposits below 100,000 euros".

He said Cyprus would "introduce more progressivity in the one-off levy" - in other words, shift the burden away from small savers towards bigger depositors - provided that the same amount of funds, 5.8bn euros, was raised.

Mr Dijsselbloem urged "a swift decision by the Cypriot authorities and parliament to rapidly implement the agreed measures".

President Anastasiades has been holding talks with ministers and MPs at the parliament building in Nicosia, where hundreds of people noisily protested on Monday.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Nicosia says there are suggestions Mr Anastasiades may want to lower the former rate to 3%, while raising the levy on the larger depositors to 12.5%.

The debate and vote in Cyprus' parliament is now scheduled for 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Tuesday. It was to have been held on Sunday.

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