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Mar 19, 2013 2:41 PM by Associated Press

Cypriot lawmakers reject deposit seizure bill

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Cypriot lawmakers have rejected a critical draft bill that would have seized part of people's bank deposits in order to qualify for a vital international bailout.

The bill, which had been amended Tuesday morning to shield small deposit holders from the deposit tax, was rejected with 36 votes against, 19 abstentions and zero votes in favor. One deputy was absent.

Hundreds of protesters outside Parliament cheered in jubilation and sang the national anthem when they heard the bill had not passed.

Cyprus will now have to come up with an alternative plan to raise the money.

If it doesn't, it won't qualify for external rescue loans, the country's banks face collapse and the country could go bankrupt.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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