Military plans to airlift penniless Brits from Cyprus


Military plans to airlift penniless Brits from Cyprus

Secret plans have been drawn up to help Britons who have been caught up in the Cyprus banking crisis to return home to the UK.

The Daily Mail reports that Britons who want to come back to the UK will be offered airline tickets and given transport to the airports, probably by the British army.

This comes amid news of the latest proposals for the financial bailout which could save Cyrus from bankruptcy. The new plans would see people with more than €100,000 (about £85,000) in the Bank of Cyprus lose 20 per cent of their money. Savers with more than €100,000 in any other bank would pay four per cent.

This proposal has already been approved by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, known jointly as the Troika.

Previous plans to take money from all bank accounts on the island were dropped following public outrage. However, Cyprus still needs to raise €5.8billion (£4.9billion) as its contribution to the bailout. The EU is expected to provide a further €10billion (£8.5billion).

The European Central Bank has said it would pull the plug on Cyprus banks on Tuesday morning if a deal is not in place, and Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades is expected to travel to Brussels today to finalise the agreement.

Sky News reports that President Anastasiades said: "We are undertaking great efforts. I hope we have a solution soon."

Although Downing Street has not officially released details of the plans for ex-pats in Cyprus, a source told the Daily Mail: "We are confident we will not need to put this plan into action. But clearly, we have to be ready to help British citizens in all circumstances, wherever they are in the world."

An insider added: "If British people cannot get their own money and want to come home, we have to help."

Cyprus banks have been closed since last weekend and are not due to open until Tuesday morning. Limits have been placed on cash machine withdrawals, which means that many residents are already running out of cash.

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