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Bailout dominates debate as Cyprus votes in presidential run-off

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Bailout dominates debate as Cyprus votes in presidential run-off

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Cash-strapped Cyprus votes again in a presidential run-off today, with conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades the strong favourite to win.

The 66-year-old, who polled over 45 per cent in last Sunday’s first round, says the country may need a short-term loan before it secures an international bailout.

The polls put him some 18 points ahead of his left wing rival Stavros Malas, a pro-bailout but anti-austerity independent who’s backed by the Communist party now in government.

The head of the IMF Christine Lagarde has said that any solution to the Mediterranean island’s economic woes must be comprehensive.

There’ve been reports of a burden-sharing proposal to ease the country’s debt, but experts warned it would have a negative effect on other eurozone countries.

Cyprus badly needs a bailout of up to 17.5 billion euros – almost the value of its whole economy.