Cyprus TV station claims more than 100 savers sent deposits abroad in run-up to bailout deal and crippling bank levy
Nicos Anastasiades says the allegations are 'an attempt to defame companies or people linked to my family'. Photograph: Yiannis Kourtoglou/AFP/Getty Images
Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades is under fire after reports emerged that a company run by a member of his family withdrew deposits from the island state ahead of its bailout.
A Cypriot TV station has published a list of more than 100 savers alleged to have transferred money out of the country before the rescue deal, which imposed heavy losses on wealthy depositors in Cypriot banks.
The reports suggest that A Loutsios & Sons Ltd – said to be co-owned by Anastasiades' son-in-law – transferred €21m (£18m) from Laiki Bank in the week running up to the bailout. The money was then moved to London, according to Haravgi, a newspaper affiliated with the communist party Akel.
Cypriot TV station Sigma subsequently published the names of 132 companies and individuals who transferred money out of Cyprus in the weeks before the bailout, giving details that concur with the newspaper report.
The list could not be verified although the company has denied that it moved any cash.
The president said the reports were an "attempt to defame companies or people linked to my family".
"[This] is nothing but an attempt to distract people from the liability of those who led the country to a state of bankruptcy."
He added that no one, including himself, would escape the ongoing investigations into the crisis that has engulfed the Cypriot economy.
Anastasiades said that when the investigative committee assembled he would ask its members to look into this particular case.
A spokesman for Akel, Stavros Evagorou, has called on the investigation committee to check allegations about withdrawals by Anastasiades' family members and other transfers out of the country ahead of the bailout.
Last week, Cyprus and the troika of international lenders agreed a €10bn bailout plan aimed at saving the island from financial meltdown.
Under the terms of the deal, depositors holding more than €100,000 at the Bank of Cyprus will lose 37.5% of their savings in exchange for bank shares. A further 22.5% will be put into a fund that earns no interest and could be confiscated should the bank need further funds. Those with deposits of less than €100,000 will be protected.
Cyprus has long attracted wealthy Russian depositors, but yesterday a senior cabinet member in Moscow said his government will not protect individual Russian victims of the Cypriot economic crisis. The UK has also been dragged into the problem.George Osborne has said he is working on a solution for people in the UK with deposits in branches of Laiki, the island's second largest bank.
Cyprus continues to hold negotiations with creditors and it emerged on Monday it has been granted an extra year to achieve a budget surplus of 4%. The original deal was based on forecasts that the economy would shrink 3.5% this year. But an anonymous government official told the Associated Press that the economy is now projected to contract by about 9%.
A government spokesman, Christos Stylianides, said negotiators are now pushing to extend the deadline to 2018 to achieve a better budget surplus.