ECONOMY

Cyprus to accept terms even if they are hard

Cyprus may accept an international bailout even if the conditions are “hard to accept,” government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said on Friday, with a possible cash crunch looming next month if aid is delayed.

Cyprus on June 25 became the fifth country in the euro area to seek a rescue, which will encompass the public sector as well as banks.

One in two Cypriots believes the government should sign a deal for aid from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund, a poll by Cypronetwork for state-run broadcaster CyBC showed late on Thursday.

Any agreement is contingent upon the results of an audit to determine the recapitalization needs of Cypriot banks, which lost more than 4 billion euros in Greece’s debt restructuring, Stefanou said on Sigma TV.

Preliminary results of the audit should be ready in the first week of December, he said.

Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias said on Wednesday that the troika, comprising the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, was setting “political terms” in the bailout talks that were hard for the country to accept. Stefanou said on Friday that while the terms of an agreement may be “hard to accept, that doesn’t mean we won’t accept them.”

Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Panicos Demetriades has said an aid deal is needed “without delay.”

Many of the country’s banks have seen deposits dwindle as uncertainty about the bailout and the country’s economy continues.

[Bloomberg]