Government: Bailout Vote To Decide Cyprus’s Future

The government of Cyprus is urging lawmakers to make “big decisions” as the EU member races to avoid financial collapse.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said that “the next few hours will decide the country’s future.”

The parliament is meeting on March 22 to decide on a new bailout package, which includes restructuring the banking sector and setting up a vaguely defined “investment solidarity fund.”

Cyprus must raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) to qualify for a 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) international bailout.

An earlier Cypriot plan that proposed to seize up to 10 percent of all domestic deposits was rejected by legislators on March 19.

Unless it comes up with a new plan by March 25, the European Central Bank said it will curb emergency funding, letting banks collapse.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on March 22 that Moscow had “not closed the door” on helping Cyprus, despite an earlier statement by Russia’s finance minister saying talks had ended.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP

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