Nicosia says has clinched EU-IMF bailout

Cyprus has reached an initial agreement on a bailout package with the European Union and the IMF and the deal is expected to be announced later on Friday by the creditors, Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said on Friday.

The news came after Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias indicated on Thursday that some of his key reservations to such a deal had been overcome, noting that «a very limited» number of differences remained which could be bridged «very soon.”

“We are awaiting the official announcement from Brussels in the afternoon,» spokesman Stefanos Stefanou told reporters on Friday.

Cypriot officials had undergone tough negotiations «in order to secure a tolerable memorandum,» Stefanou said, referring to the economic reform program thrashed out between the two sides. He said government officials were briefing opposition party leaders and union chiefs on the terms of the agreement.

The size of the loan is to be determined at the begining of next month while the austerity measures to be imposed in return are expected to include cuts to civil servants’ salaries and pensions ranging from 9.5 percent to 15 percent.

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