Cyprus central bank head says Greek writedown harmed banks

Outgoing Cypriot central bank governor Athanasios Orphanides said on Monday the island's economy was at a critical juncture, and that a Greek debt writedown, which has impacted the island's banks, helped trigger a vicious cycle in the system.

Orphanides, whose term in office expires on May 2, told lawmakers in parliament fiscal measures taken by authorities were a step in the right direction, but noted with concern comments from officials that there had been a deviation from fiscal targets in the first quarter of the year.

"The economy of our country is going through critical times. The right handling (of this) is required. At stake is not only the economy of Cyprus and the well-being of its citizens, but its national reputation and standing,» said Orphanides. [Reuters]