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Cyprus still hopeful of 11th-hour bailout deal

Published on Mar 24, 2013 6:22 AM
 
Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades (centre) chairs a meeting with party leaders as acting President of DYSI party Averof Neophytou (right) looks at him at the presidential palace in Nicosia on March 20, 2013. Mr Anastasiades said he remained hopeful on Saturday even though he had no deal to announce on a bailout to save the island from looming bankruptcy on the eve of crunch talks in Brussels. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

NICOSIA (AFP) - Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he remained hopeful on Saturday even though he had no deal to announce on a bailout to save the island from looming bankruptcy on the eve of crunch talks in Brussels.

Cypriot officials were huddled with EU and IMF representatives throughout the day in a bid to find a way to meet their conditions for unlocking 10 billion euros (S$16.2 billion) in desperately needed emergency loans by a Monday deadline.

The so-called troika of the EU, IMF and European Central Bank is demanding that Cyprus raise 5.8 billion euros in return and shrink its bloated financial sector.

The Cypriot parliament has already approved a painful package of banking reforms and there is reluctant consensus on a raft of other revenue-raising measures to put to the euro zone ministers for approval on Sunday.

 
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