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Cypriots anxious as banks reopen with limits

7:16 PM, Mar. 28, 2013  |  Comments
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NICOSIA, Cyprus - Anxious Cypriots patiently waited in long lines to get at their accounts Thursday after banks opened for the first time in nearly two weeks, following an international bailout to save the country's financial system.

Fearing a run on its banks, the tiny Mediterranean country has imposed daily withdrawal limits of 300 euros ($384) for individuals and 5,000 euros for businesses - the first so-called capital controls that any country has applied in the eurozone's 14-year history.

Financial strains are building on families and businesses, and the recession in Cyprus is likely to deepen. The mood outside banks was calmer than feared. Many people said the withdrawal limits were probably necessary to keep a bad situation from spiraling out of control.

Banks had been shut in Cyprus since March 16 to prevent people from draining their accounts as politicians scrambled to save the country's stricken financial sector. ATM machines were working, but with a limit on daily withdrawals.

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