ATHENS -- After being locked out of their banks for nearly two weeks, the people of bailed-out Cyprus finally had access to their financial institutions Thursday, lining up to withdraw cash but maintaining calm and order despite fears by authorities of potential unrest.
The government deployed police and security guards throughout the island to head off any outbreaks of violence among a populace desperate to transact business and tap their savings after a tumultuous two weeks that saw Cyprus teeter on the edge of bankruptcy. Banks remained shuttered during that time to prevent a run on their reserves.
They reopened Thursday with a number of restrictions in place to prevent a massive flight of capital. Depositors are limited to $384 in cash withdrawals each day. Officials also slapped a cap of $6,300 on transactions with other countries and banned cashing checks and terminating fixed-term cash deposits before their maturity date.
In a statement issued by his office, President Nicos Anastasiades thanked his compatriots for "the maturity and spirit of responsibility they have shown at a critical time for the stability of the Cypriot economy," according to the Associated Press.