ECONOMY

Christofias: Requested aid mainly for credit sector

Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias said on Friday that his government?s request for emergency European aid will be primarily for the country?s banks and it?s too early to know the size of the whole package.

?I won?t give numbers,? Christofias told reporters in Brussels after a meeting of European Union leaders. ?We believe that support will be needed mainly, if not totally, for the recapitalization of banks.?

Cyprus on Monday became the fifth euro-area nation to request a financial rescue since Greece triggered the European debt crisis more than two years ago. No amount has been specified for the Cyprus bailout, which will encompass the public sector as well as banks weakened by their exposure to the Greek economy.

Cyprus has also sought assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

Christofias said the Cypriot government?s plan to bring the budget deficit within the EU?s limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product by the end of this year reduces the need for non-bank aid.

?The fiscal deficit is on a good path,? he said. [Bloomberg]