Greek Cypriot bailout not likely ‘sooner than March’
BERLIN - ReutersGreek Cyprus can only expect a bailout in early March after its presidential election next month, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported yesterday, citing sources close to negotiations.
Greek Cyprus holds presidential elections on Feb. 17 and 24 and the paper said eurozone finance ministers want to wait to work with the successor of outgoing communist President Dimitris Christofias, who is not seeking re-election.
“The incumbent Christofias categorically rejects the sale of state companies. Without privatisation revenues the country cannot be reformed,” the paper quoted sources in Brussels as saying. The head of eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, said last month the ministers would discuss at their next meeting on Jan. 21 a deal for Greek Cyprus, one of the smallest economies in the 17-nation area. Greek Cyprus sought financial aid - which could be up to 17.5 billion euros, equal to its entire gross domestic product - from the European Union and IMF last June.