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The freshly-elected President of Cyprus is promising to finalise a financial rescue package to stave off the island’s potential bankrupcy.
Nicos Anastasiades has pledged to hammer out a quick deal with foreign lenders and bring Cyprus closer to Europe.
The conservative leader took 57.5 percent of the vote, 15 points more than his anti-austerity, Communist-backed rival Stavros Malas.
We have seen off pessimism and despair, he told his supporters. The winners here are hope and the prospect that things will improve.
The decisive outcome showed a clear mandate from Cypriots for an aggressive, pro-bailout approach, despite any austerity measures that may entail.
“We are happy”, said one woman, “we wanted change and we got it. I hope it will be good. As a civil servant, I hope things will get better now.”
“I hope he will make the right choices” said another man,“we trust him to confront the challenges we face.”
Eight months of inconclusive talks on a bailout package have turned the small island into a big headache for the eurozone, triggering fears of a financial collapse that could reignite the bloc’s debt crisis.