ECONOMY

Christofias to say no to privatizations

Cyprus’ president says he would refuse any request by international lenders to sell off state-owned companies as part of a finalized agreement to bail out the crisis-hit country.

Dimitris Christofias said on Wednesday he has «no intention» of consenting to privatizations. A draft of the bailout deal with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund says Cyprus will have to consider privatizations if it’s debt is deemed unsustainable.

Cypriot banks, which took huge losses on bad Greek debt and loans, are estimated to need up to 10 billion euros in rescue money. That’s more than half the country’s economy, raising questions whether the government will be able to handle the debt. Cyprus’ eurozone partners will decide on the country’s bailout deal on January 21.