7 pictures of lonely journalists hoping for a Cypriot bank run

The bank run probably won't happen, but capital controls might stay for a while.

Sadly for those standing around outside Cypriot banks with cameras and notebooks this morning (and there are way more of them than anyone else right now)...  it might all turn out to be a bit of a snoozefest.

These journalists, for example, are definitely ready for the banks to open:

These journalists are also definitely ready for the banks to open:

These journalists are so definitely ready for the banks to open it's actually a bit painful:

Are we nearly there yet?

Tumbleweed...

Why are the police so calm and unprovocative?

This parrot is trying to help the journalists stay positive:

There was a little excitement over the arrival of some armed guards(!) earlier, but as @spignal points out:

..crushing.

The reason there probably won't be Cyprus bank run is in these here capital controls. People can only take €300 from their account each day, so the emptying of accounts into socks just can't happen in one go.

Here are some other important details from the legislation, designed to ruin media fun today:

- You can only leave the country carrying €1,000

- You can't cash cheques

- You can't transfer (much) cash abroad.

Officially, the controls "shall apply for a seven day period starting from the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic" - but there's suspicion they might hang around for a bit longer. Here's Courtney Weaver and Michael Stothard in the FT:

This makes sense - those capital controls are the only thing standing between banks and a potential mob, so they're likely to stick around in one form or another, for quite some time.

 
Are we nearly there yet? Photograph: @JoeWSJ

Martha Gill writes the weekly Irrational Animals column. You can follow her on Twitter here: @Martha_Gill.

Photo: Getty
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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.