Cypriot poll favorite says he will enforce bailout terms

The front-runner in next month’s Cypriot presidential elections promised onThursday to back the terms of a bailout deal with international lenders, but said privatizations would not be a priority for his administration.

“I fully acknowledge the need for the new government to implement the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, fully and effectively… [and] the importance of meeting all targets and objectives,” Nikos Anastasiadis, head of the right-wing Democratic Rally party, told Reuters in an interview.

If elected, he said, he would introduce reforms to foster sustainable development and growth, including new business incentives and civil service restructuring. “We have been temporarily derailed by bad policies, but Cyprus continues to have excellent prospects.”

Anastasiadis said he would be pressing that point at an extraordinary meet of European center-right parties in Cyprus on Friday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party has expressed unease on bailing out Cyprus, will be present.