NEWS

EC spokesman: Nicosia must implement new bills

The press spokesman for European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn stressed in comments to reporters in Brussels on Friday that it was absolutely vital for the Cypriot Parliament to implement new legislation — including a bill for the restructuring of the cash-strapped Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) and another restricting lenders’ capital transfers — well before a Monday deadline set by the European Central Bank.

The bills, which were due to be voted on in the Cypriot Parliament on Friday, must be implemented without delay, Simon O’Connor told journalists at the commission’s weekly press briefing, emphasizing that the ECB had threatened to cut off liquidity to Cypriot banks on Monday if Nicosia has failed by then to agree on an economic rescue plan with foreign lenders.

Rehn’s spokesman would not comment on specific counter-proposals made by Cypriot authoritis to the troika such as a so-called Solidarity Fund.