Shiarly says Cyprus would never accept ‘bail-in’ of island’s depositors

Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly has ruled out the idea of the country’s bailout being accompanied by losses for the country’s domestic and foreign depositors.

“We do not accept, nor are we discussing, nor can we ever accept this,” Shiarly told Kathimerini’s Brussels correspondent Nikos Chrysoloras ahead of a Eurogroup meeting in the Belgian capital on Monday.

“We categorically state that such a move would be illegal under Cypriot law and, I believe under European law.

“I believe deposits in Cyprus are safe and presenting things in any other way is very risky.”

A European Commission spokesman, meanwhile, said Brussels has not proposed forcing losses on uninsured depositors of Cypriot banks.

The remarks were made following a report in the Financial Times that a proposal had been made to ‘bail-in’ investors and depositors of Cypriot banks, a move that would reduce the amount of financial assistance required by Cyprus.

Shiarly said he had not read the particular article but added that it was based on an “incredible” scenario.”

“There are no proposals of the European Commission along the lines described in the article,» said the spokesman for Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner in charge of economic and monetary affairs.

He added that the Commission intended to ensure fair burden sharing and restructuring Cypriot banks.

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the question of financial assistance for Cyprus when they meet on Monday although no aid package will be finalised until elections have been held and a new Cypriot president is in place.

[Kathimerini English Edition & agencies]

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