ECONOMY

Eurogroup approves Cyprus bailout

Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Dublin approved a proposed 10-billion-euro rescue program for Cyprus without any significant changes, according to diplomatic sources.

According to a written statement, eurozone ministers expressed their common conviction that «the necessary elements are now in place to launch the relevant

national procedures required for the formal approval of the ESM financial assistance facility agreement for an amount of up to 10 billion euros, subject to IMF’s contribution.»

Noting that the first loan installment to Nicosia was expected to be disbursed in mid-May, the statement expressed the ministers’ satisfaction «that the Cypriot authorities have implemented decisive bank resolution, restructuring and recapitalization measures to address the fragile and unique situation of Cyprus’ financial sector.» It added that it expected «the finalization of the negotiations between the Cypriot and Russian authorities on the restructuring of the loan granted to Cyprus by the Russian Federation.”

In Nicosia meanwhile Cypriot government spokesman Christos Stylianides issued a statement clarifying that Cyprus “has not requested additional financial assistance under the Memorandum with the Troika.” “What the President of the Republic is discussing with European officials is the possibility of increasing European funds, for growth and social cohesion,” Stylianides’ statement said.

Eurozone ministers were also expected to evaluate the progress of economic reforms in Greece where talks between government officials and troika envoys continued on Friday, chiefly focusing on the thorny issue of a delayed civil service overhaul.