Banks closed until Tuesday

CYPRUS’ banks were yesterday told by the government to remain closed for the rest of the week to lower the risk of depositors rushing to remove their cash.

The decision means that the banks, shut since the weekend, will not reopen until Tuesday after a holiday weekend, a government official said, extending the misery of Cypriot businesses already feeling the pinch.

There was evidence yesterday that the bank closure was slowing trade. Several petrol stations were refusing credit cards, insisting on payment in cash.