NEWS

Anastasiades meets party leaders after troika talks as Cyprus nears deal

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is due to meet party leaders in Nicosia on Saturday night following talks with troika representatives.

One of the key issues discussed between Anastasiades and the troika was a plan to raise revenues from a deposit tax as Nicosia attempts to gather the 5.8 billion euros demanded by the troika.

It is thought Nicosia is proposing a 20 to 25 percent levy on savings above 100,000 euros at the Bank of Cyprus but it is not clear if the tax will be applied to pension funds as well.

A Cypriot official told Reuters late on Saturday that pension funds would be spared.

Deposits above 100,000 euros are set to be taxed at 4 percent.

This does not apply to Popular Bank of Cyprus (Laiki), which is to go through a resolution process that will lead to the creation of a “good” bank and “bad” bank.

“We are here and we are working decisively to save the economy,” Anastasiades wrote in a tweet on Saturday evening. “We are making intensive efforts. We hope to have a result soon.”

Anastasiades is expected to travel to Brussels on Sunday evening for a meeting of eurozone finance ministers. The Eurogroup will decide whether Cyprus has put together a robust enough package of measures to secure a 10-billion-euro bailout and liquidity for its troubled banks.

“Unfortunately, events of recent days have led to a situation where there are no longer any optimal solutions available,» the EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Saturday.

“It’s essential that an agreement is reached by the Eurogroup on Sunday evening in Brussels on financial assistance programme for Cyprus,» added the Finn.