The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades is in Brussels today to seek an 11-th hour deal to prevent the country’s financial collapse.
It is a race against the clock ahead of Monday’s deadline for the country to agree the terms of a 10 billion euro bailout. Talks in Nicosia to seal a rescue package from the EU and International Monetary Fund broke up late on Saturday without result.
But the pressure of Nicosia having to raise more than half that amount on its own is already taking its toll. “Negotiations are at a very delicate phase,” the Cypriot government said in a statement.
Scrambling to find the funds, officials said Cyprus had conceded to a one-time levy on bank deposits over 100,000 euros, a dramatic U-turn from five days ago when lawmakers angrily threw out a similar proposal as “bank robbery.”
Without a deal, the ECB says it willl cut off emergency funds to Cypriot banks, spelling certain collapse and potentially pushing the country out of the euro zone.