Cyprus is applying to Brussels for a bailout, for its banks and its budget deficit.
Its financial sector has been heavily exposed to the debt crisis in Greece, with which Cyprus shares a language, culture and close political links.
Cyprus beomes the fifth eurozone country to seek help from the bloc’s rescue funds, after Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. The Mediterranean island announced it would be applying for financial assistance, just days before it assumes the EU’s rotating presidency.
With its coffers emptying rapidly, Cyprus has also suffered a credit rating cut by the Fitch agency, to non-investment, or junk status.