Run on Cyprus Popular Bank as closure fears rise
NICOSIA (AFP) - Anxious Cypriots queued outside Popular Bank ATM machines on March 21 to withdraw their cash as fears rose that the country's banking meltdown will mean its second largest bank closes for ever.
"It's all about cash now. Only a gambler will take cheques in this situation," said retired government official Phaedon Vassiliades as he withdrew money from the bank's ATM at Nicosia's Ledra Street tourist hot spot.
Behind the wheelchair-bound Vassiliades, a queue of anxious men and women waited to claw back as much as they can, while tourists took pictures on mobile phones and cameras.
"There are rumours that Laiki Bank (the Greek name for the Popular Bank) will never open again. I want to take out as much as I can," Mr Vassiliades, who lost his legs in a car accident, told AFP.