Families from Gloucestershire hit by Cyprus bank tax
IN a humble two bedroom apartment in Nicosia, Cyprus, Margaret Reid and her husband Paul are watching the news intently.
They're waiting to find out what the future holds for them and thousands of British ex-pats in Cyprus.
"We just don't know what's going on. There's been no communication from anyone, nothing," she said.
The small television set hasn't been turned off since news of the bank levy broke.
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The £8.6billion bailout agreed with the EU and IMF demands all bank customers pay a one-off levy.
Margaret and her husband lived and worked in the Forest of Dean for 30 years before retiring to Cyprus in October 2011. Margaret was a hospital porter and Paul worked in insurance.
"We were always saving, as and when we could. Coming out here has been a dream of ours for as long as we can remember. We finally do it, and now this happens," he said, eyes still on the TV.
I ask them if they can speak Greek. "Not really. Bits and pieces. But they aren't telling us anything useful anyway."
Although things are moving quickly, at the moment, depositors holding less than 100,000 euros will lose 6.75% of their capital if the bank levy is passed by the Cypriot parliament this afternoon. Margaret and Paul stand to lose 3,000 euros.
"We lined up at the cashpoint with everyone else, but nothing was moving. What made us really angry was that customers dressed in suits were being led into the bank by security guards, and leaving with black boxes full of money," she said. "It's theft, plain and simple," Paul added.
In the rest of the city the mood is palpable. The people of Cyprus are angry.
A local man who wished to remain anonymous predicted civil unrest.
"If the bank holiday is extended for much longer there is going to be a riot. They can't do this to us! What about the elderly? My mother, she uses cash, euros for everything, how is she going to cope?"
Cypriot Dino Houtris, 72, left Nicosia for England in 1958. He has lived in the UK for more than 20 years and in Gloucester for the last nine, running Dino's Village Taverna in St Catherine Street.
Although he doesn't have any savings secured in banks in Cyprus, his family and friends will be affected.
"I think it is very unfair on normal Cypriot people," he said. "A lot of blame must lie with previous Cypriot governments for allowing huge sums of Russian money into the country and poor management."