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‘EU keeping watch over island nation's capital controls’

The European Commission said on Thursday that it would closely monitor capital controls introduced by Cyprus. 'The Commission will monitor closely with the Cypriot authorities, other member states, the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority the implementation of the imposed restrictive measures on capital movements,' it said in a statement.

'The Commission will insist at all times that any restrictive measures are strictly proportionate to the legitimate objectives of preventing the immediate risk to the financial stability of Cyprus and strictly limited in duration to the time necessary for that purpose,' it said.

'While the imposed restrictive measures appear to be necessary in the current circumstances, the free movement of capital should be reinstated as soon as possible in the interests of the Cypriot economy and the European Union's single market as a whole,' it added.

Under a deal agreed in Brussels on Monday, Cyprus must raise 5.8 billion euros to qualify for a 10-billion-euro bailout from the troika of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Depositors with more than 100,000 euros in the top two banks — Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and Laiki or 'Popular Bank' — face losing a large chunk of their money.

Five shipping containers reportedly filled with billions of euros have been delivered to the central bank in Nicosia. A helicopter and police cars accompanied the cash convoy.
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