Cyprus' lawmakers geared up to vote on a series of bills put forward in a renewed effort to strike a bailout deal with European partners on Friday after talks with Russia collapsed.
"The House of Representatives will soon be called upon to take the big decisions. Undoubtedly, there will also be painful aspects in any decision taken, but the country must be saved," government spokesman Christos Stylianides said in a statement. "The next few hours will determine the future of this country," he added.
Reuters reported that Cypriot leaders are discussing with their international lenders the adoption of a levy of more than 10 percent on bank deposits over 100,000 euros, a ruling party official said on Friday.
Parliament will discuss a number of alternatives to a controversial tax on bank deposits, including the creation of a "solidarity fund" of state, church and pension fund assets and the introduction of capital controls on its lenders to prevent capital flight when its banks re-open next Tuesday.
A banking bill is also being considered which would see the country's second-largest lender, the Laiki Bank, split into "good" and "bad" assets. Rumors that the bank could be wound down prompted heated public protests in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, on Thursday.