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Cyprus' parliament must vote on bailout deal: government official

Europe
17.04.2013
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Athens (dpa) - Cyprus‘ parliament must ratify a 23-billion-euro (30.3 billion dollar) international bailout deal in order for it to become valid, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said on Wednesday.

"It is not possible that Cyprus‘ bailout deal needs to secure the approval by other parliaments in the eurozone, while at the same time it is not voted on by our parliament," Stylianides told state radio RIK.

"It looks like the parliaments of the other eurozone countries will pass it and we will now see what ours will do. I hope that the legislators will vote with wisdom and responsibility - I have this expectation," he added.

"Anyone who is ready to vote against the loan agreement should at the same time be prepared to come up with 10 billion euros needed to continue to pay salaries and pensions."

Under a bailout deal reached with international creditors depositors with more than 100,000 euros in the island‘s two biggest banks, the Bank of Cyprus and Laiki, will have big losses.

Stylianides did not specify when parliament would hold the vote.

Parliament has ratified austerity measures which include tax increases, restructuring the banking sector and cuts to public salaries.

The new vote will cover additional austerity measures drawn up by international creditors - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The measures aim at downsizing the public sector.

EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn admitted that "mistakes" had been made "under enormous time pressure" in the initial decision to bail in small depositors, which prompted outrage and was rejected by Cypriot lawmakers.

He said the commission had warned Cyprus to make adjustments as early as November 2011, and that by the time the situation became urgent, few options were left.

Eurozone member states‘ offer to contribute no more than 10 billion euros to Cyprus‘s bailout "severely limited the options available," Rehn said in Strasbourg where EU officials faced up to criticism in the European Parliament of how the crisis was handled.

"As time was running out, the scenario of the more gradual economic adjustment was not on the cards any more, unfortunately," he added.

European officials said Cyprus should receive the first tranche of bailout aid in early May. dpa cp hm jln Author: Christine Pirovolakis

 

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