Calm in Cypriot queues
Patient Cypriots formed orderly queues and waited in the sun for their banks to reopen after nearly two cash-starved weeks, but many expressed anger at the island's European partners.
Despite fears of a bank run that led the island to impose harsh capital controls, some Cypriots were even depositing money instead of withdrawing it following the closure of the banks on March 16.
The calm prevailed even when some branches opened 20 minutes late, in several cases with packs of foreign journalists outnumbering the Cypriots themselves.
Dozens of people queued outside the banks in Nicosia for about an hour before the opening time, which was finally announced late on Wednesday after repeated delays.
Banks posted armed guards outside many branches, while tellers, who unlike in other European countries are not housed behind glass security, urged customers not to vent their frustrations on them.
Guards handed out Greek-language copies of a decree issued by Finance Minister Michalis Sarris, which imposes limits on how much capital customers can touch, including a daily €300 ($360) limit.
Customers face severe restrictions on withdrawals to prevent a run on the banks that could wreak havoc on the fragile economy.
The calm after the storm defied sombre predictions of one Cypriot queuing outside a branch of Laiki, or Popular bank, which will be wound up as part of the bailout deal Cyprus negotiated with its creditors.
But others said there was no point in queuing when the amounts involved were so small.
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