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Thursday
Mar282013

Cyprus Banks Open, Limit Transactions

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NICOSIA, Cyprus) -- Banks in Cyprus reopened on Thursday for the first time since March 16.

They were closed while a deal, which was reached earlier this week, was being negotiated to avert the collapse of Cyprus' banking system.

The estimated $13 billion bailout calls for shrinking the banking system.  To help pay for it, bank depositors with more than 100,000 euros will endure losses, while those under that amount will be protected.

The strict terms of the deal have sparked protests in Cyprus and fears that many could besiege banks as soon as they reopen.

In preparation, banks have hired extra security for Thursday's reopening.

"Security guards have been placed outside the doors," says the BBC's Tim Wilcox, who is in Nicosia outside the Bank of Cyprus.

And banks have instituted cash curbs capping total transactions on any cards.

"Only 300 Euros per person per day can be withdrawn.  Restrictions on credit and debit cards as well," Wilcox says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio