EU says Cyprus not alone in battling crisis

Cyprus’s EU partners will stand by its side as the island treads the painful road to recovery from near economic meltdown, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Tuesday.

“I have no illusions about the uncertainty, fear and anger felt by many, who either lost or fear losing their jobs,” the first top-level EU official to visit the island since the crisis said after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

“Yet when I see the sense of dignity and perseverance, the sheer determination of the people of Cyprus, I am confident that Cyprus will overcome the crisis,” he added.

“You are not alone in your huge efforts toward recovery,” Van Rompuy told reporters.

“Let me assure you that all the countries in the European Union are by your side: they will continue to show solidarity,” he said, following street protests during the height of the crisis at which demonstrators voiced anger over the EU response.

Van Rompuy said for Cyprus to recover from the bailout shock Cypriot authorities must go head with structural reforms in the banking and public sectors to create lasting growth, prosperity and jobs.

“The reforms that you are ambitiously undertaking will pay off. You are not alone in your titanic efforts toward recovery… all the countries in the European Union are by your side.” [AFP]