Cyprus closes in on EU bailout deal

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Cyprus closes in on EU bailout deal

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Cypriot leaders are in Brussels for last ditch talks to avert the country’s financial collapse.

It comes after its parliament voted to restructure the island’s banks, into so-called “good and bad” lenders and set up a “national solidarity fund”.

Moves to impose a big levy on bank depositors are yet to be approved. But a dramatic u-turn is expected to avert the threat of financial meltdown as Cyprus faces a Monday deadline to clinch a 10 billion euro bailout or have its emergency funding cut off.

The turnaround came after Russia rebuffed Cypriot entreaties to help its banks, where Russian citizens and other foreigners have billions of euros at stake.

A government official, who declined to be named, said
Cypriot officials were to hold talks with representatives from
the so-called ‘troika’ of lenders – the EU, ECB and
International Monetary Fund – on Saturday morning.

Cypriots have been enraged by plans to hit small holdings of ordinary savers as well as large depositors. Parliament will hold a crucial sitting to decide the matter after EU finance minister meet on Sunday.