Tuesday morning’s newspaper headlines were not pleasant reading for the people of Cyprus.
The Mediterranean island is seeking emergency funding and euro zone officials say the bailout needed could be up to 10 billion euros – that is over half the size of the Cypriot economy.
“It’s the workers, most of all the civil servants, who will probably pay for this because they will have to limit spending,” said one man in Nicosia.
“But also all those people currently waiting for funding to save their businesses, because all small and medium-sized firms, which make up some 80 percent of the total, are being destroyed day by day.”
Heavily exposed to Greek debt, Cyprus wants help for its banks and budget deficit. It is the fifth euro zone country to go cap in hand to Brussels.
The request comes just days before it assumes the EU’s rotating presidency in what the speaker of the Cypriot parliament has called a “tragic coincidence.”