Greek Cypriot government to present plan B
NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades (C) chairs a meeting with party leaders as acting President of DYSI party Averof Neophytou (R) looks at him at the presidential palace in Nicosia March 20, 2013. Greek Cyprus overwhelmingly rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits as a condition for a European bailout on Tuesday, throwing international efforts to rescue the latest casualty of the euro zone debt crisis into disarray. Europe's demand at the weekend that Cyprus break with previous EU pracGreek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has demanded that a decision on a bailout deal for the near-bankrupt eurozone member must be made on March 21, the official CNA news agency reported.
"A decision on a Cyprus rescue must be made on March 21 at the latest," CNA quoted Anastasiades as saying as he left the presidential palace in Nicosia on March 20 night.
Anastasiades chaired a crisis meeting of his cabinet on March 20, and state television reported he was to present party leaders March 21 with a Plan B at the presidential palace, aimed at securing an EU-IMF bailout for the Mediterranean island.
The CNA news agency said March 21 "is expected to be a difficult day" and went on to quote government sources as saying that Anastasiades would submit the rescue plan to party leaders at a meeting due to start at 0730 GMT.
The proposals were expected "to be put to the vote before the Greek Cypriot parliament in the afternoon," it reported.
Unnamed government sources quoted by the CNA said the rescue plan included the creation of a "structural investment fund, which will be reinforced by various provident funds, real estate, etc..."
"The fund will also be linked with a bond issue and natural gas prospects," the agency said.
State television said the plan might include a levy on bank deposits over 100,000 euros which had been discussed during the cabinet meeting after parliamentarians rejected the terms of an EU-IMF bailout as "blackmail".
The Greek Cypriot authorities have spent the day in frantic talks, after parliament's "No" vote of a measure that would have slapped a one-time levy of up to 9.9 percent on bank deposits as a condition for an EU-led 10-billion-euro ($13-billion) loan.
The 5.8 billion euros the proposal would have raised was crucial to Nicosia getting the full rescue.