March 24, 2013

— Cyprus officials and international representatives ended torturous negotiation in the early hours of Sunday with no agreement on how to raise the money the island nation needs to get a bailout package.

Talks are set to resume later Sunday in Brussels. Failure would mean Cyprus could declare bankruptcy in just two days and possibly have to exit the euro zone.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will travel to the Belgian capital early Sunday.

A viable plan must be cemented before finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro currency meet in the evening.

Cyprus must raise $7.5 billion to secure $23 billion in rescue loans from other euro-zone countries and the International Monetary Fund. The IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission will determine whether Cyprus’s plan meets the demands for an international bailout. It then goes to the euro-zone finance ministers for final approval.

The ECB said it will stop providing emergency funding to Cyprus’s banks after Monday if no new plan is in place. Without its support, the banks would collapse on Tuesday.

— Associated Press

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