Cyprus reports progress in talks with int'l lenders on bailout
NICOSIA, Nov 09, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Cyprus on Friday reported progress
in negotiations with potential lenders from the European Union
(EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on financial aid,
but warned that there is still much to be done.
"It is our joint view that there has been progress in
negotiations with the troika," said government spokesman Stefanos
Stefanou after a long meeting of a ministerial committee with the
troika negotiators representing the European Commission, the
European Central Bank and the IMF.
The troika negotiators arrived at the finance ministry early
Friday for talks on fiscal issues. Late in the day, they had an
unscheduled meeting with the government's negotiating team, which
is comprised of a group of ministers. The meeting lasted many
hours into the night.
"We took stock of what has been discussed in tele-negotiations
and there was a joint conclusion that there has been movement
forward," Stefanou said.
But Stefanou said there is still a lot of ground to be covered
during the coming days to consolidate progress achieved during
teleconference negotiations over the last three months.
There is still a difficult task ahead before a deal is
concluded, he said.
Cyprus requested financial assistance from the EU and the IMF
to recapitalize its two largest banks battered by their exposure
to the Greek crisis and meet salary needs until the end of the
The recapitalization need is the thorniest in all the
unresolved issues and will be taken up by the troika negotiators
who will confer on Saturday with the governor of the Central Bank
of Cyprus and his team.
Cyprus hopes the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) still in
the making by the Eurogroup will recapitalize the banks directly
so as to avoid a further burden on its sovereign debt, which is
now at 84 percent of its 17.9-billion-euro (22.8-billion-U.S.
A government source hinted that the troika negotiators may
leave after concluding this round of negotiations next week and
come back later.
"Obviously the current round of negotiations with the troika is
not likely to lead to a final bailout agreement," said the source
on condition of anonymity.
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