Greek Cyprus president to hold more bailout talks with Merkel
NICOSIA- Agence France-Presse
Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. AP PhotoGreek Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has discussed the island's EU bailout with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and is to have more talks with her on Tuesday, a government spokesman said.
"Last night the president had a telephone conversation with... Mrs Merkel whom he briefed about the current situation in Cyprus. The president informed the chancellor that the possibility was considered to cut the loan needs through Cypriot funds," Christos Stylianides said in a statement.
"The president of the republic is expected to have another conversation with Mrs Merkel today and he will continue his contacts with other leaders as well," Stylianides added.
Greek Cyprus was reviewing its bailout package ahead of a scheduled parliamentary vote later Tuesday on the deal after the eurozone urged a rethink on a controversial levy on bank deposits.
At the same time, its finance minister, Michalis Sarris, was headed to Moscow to seek an extension to an existing 2.5-billion-euro Russian loan, a top official said.
Finance ministry director Andreas Charalambous told reporters in Nicosia that securing an extension to the loan was "very important" as it would throw Greek Cyprus an economic lifeline.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday that investors who placed their money in Cyprus in order to pay less tax should shoulder the risks when it comes to a bailout.
In exchange for a 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) bailout for debt-laden Greek Cyprus agreed by EU leaders on Saturday, a levy will be slapped on all bank savings.
The move has raised widespread anger in Greek Cyprus, but also in Russia, where investors have placed vast amounts of cash in the island's banks.
Estimates vary but the Moody's rating firm estimates that Russian companies and banks keep up to $31 billion in Greek Cyprus. The figure accounts for between a third and half of all Greek Cypriot deposits.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday hammered the proposed tax as "unfair, unprofessional and dangerous".