NEWS

Cypriots, troika talk as Anastasiades mulls Brussels trip

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was in talks with troika officials on Saturday and was expected to travel to Brussels later in the day ahead of a scheduled session of the Eurogroup on Sunday aimed at clinching a bailout for the country.

Talks with the troika, which included Finance Minister Michalis Sarris, reportedly focused on a new piece of legislation being drawn up by Cypriot lawmakers foreseeing a «haircut» of up to 25 percent on Cypriot bank deposits in excess of 100,000 euros. In comments to reporters, Sarris said that progress had been made in the talks where the Cypriot side had presented a «comprehensive proposal.» Some «additional matters» remained to be tackled, he added.

Negotiations with the troika were expected to resume at 4 p.m., Sarris said. «Our chief aim is to secure the stability of the banking system,» he said, adding that «banks must open on Tuesday.» Sarris added that he expected «something» to be submitted to Parliament for a vote on Saturday afternoon or in the early evening. According to a Cypriot deputy quoted by Reuters, however, the Parliament in Nicosia would not reconvene until after Sunday’s Eurogroup summit.

According to the outcome of the talks with the troika, Anastasiades was to decide whether or not to travel to Brussels ahead of Sunday’s Eurogroup summit where eurozone finance ministers were to try again to agree on a rescue plan for Cyprus.