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When the sh*t hits the fan, the government steals

Cypriot capital controls, coming soon to a city near you…

Cyprus reopens its banks on Thursday while limiting withdrawals, banning cheques and curbing the use of Cypriot credit cards abroad, among measures imposed to avert a bank run after it agreed a tough rescue deal with international lenders.

The Central Bank said banks would open their doors at midday (1000 GMT) on Thursday after nearly two weeks when Cypriots could only get cash through limited ATM withdrawals.

A central bank official said Cypriots would be allowed to withdraw no more than 300 euros ($367) a day.

Yiangos Demetriou, head of internal audit at the Central Bank, said on state television that the controls would allow unlimited use of credit cards within Cyprus, but set a limit of 5,000 euros per month abroad. He said the measures would last four days but could be reviewed.

Other details of the controls had yet to be officially announced by late Wednesday. According to a draft of a government decree leaked to Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Cypriots would not be permitted to send money overseas without documentation showing they are paying for imports.

Those travelling abroad could take a maximum of 3,000 euros on each trip, according to the draft. Early withdrawals of funds deposited with banks for a fixed term would be banned. Cypriot officials said the draft published by the newspaper was genuine but not necessarily.

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