Cyprus crisis: MPs approve bank restructuring and solidarity fund – as it happened

People protest outside the Cypriot Parliament on March 22, 2013 in the capital Nicosia.Guardian – by Graeme Wearden

Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of the Cyprus crisis, as it struggles to agree a new bailout deal as the clock ticks towards the Monday deadline set by the European Central Bank.

MPs in Nicosia are preparing to vote on new legislation to restructure its banking sector this morning.  

The vote, on nine different bills, will pave the way to restructuring its second largest bank, Laiki, and imposing unprecedented restrictions on financial transactions on the sector.

The session, which begins at 8am GMT, is a crucial step for Cyprus (in its push for Plan B), and should cut more than €2bn off the €6bn which Cyprus must find.

But Cyprus will still need to reach a deal with the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund before the ECB carries out its threat to withdraw liquidity support on Monday.

And without that plan, Cyprus’s position looks pretty shaky this morning.

The vote comes as finance minister Michalis Sarris flies home from Russia, apparently having failed to secure fresh support from Moscow.

As Bloomberg reports:

“I think we are not able to get the support that we wanted to get,” Sarris said in an interview after checking out of the Lotte Hotel in downtown Moscow. “But we must go back home because things are getting serious.”

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