Greek Cyprus ministers approve bailout deal: Spokesman

Greek Cyprus ministers approve bailout deal: Spokesman

NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cyprus ministers approve bailout deal: Spokesman

Cypriots walk pass a Cypriot bank on the island's capital Nicosia, April 18. REUTERS photo

Greek Cyprus's cabinet on April 24 approved the island's 10-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout deal that will now be tabled before parliament for a vote expected to be held before mid-May.

"The Cabinet has approved the loan agreement and the Memorandum to be forwarded to parliament for a preliminary discussion at committee level," government spokesman Christos Stylianides told reporters. "Ratification of the loan agreement is expected after April 26," he added.

Following a ruling by the attorney general --that the memorandum is akin to an international treaty -parliament has to vote on the bailout package as a whole.

The government agreed to costly terms with international creditors last month that have come in for heavy criticism among MPs.

The governing centre-right coalition holds a slim majority in the 56-member House of Representatives, but only if all of its MPs toe the party line.

Opposition MPs from the communist AKEL party and socialist EDEK have voiced their hostility to the high cost of the deal, which has surged from 17.5 billion euros to 23 billion euros, putting the teetering economy under more pressure.

To secure the 10-billion-euro EU-IMF rescue package Greek Cyprus has virtually dismantled its banking system, while businesses struggle to survive without working capital as the eurozone's first capital controls remain in place.

If all goes according to plan Cyprus expects its first tranche of much-needed bailout cash in May.