Cyprus to present redrafted bailout 'Plan B'

President Nicos Anastasiades demands bailout decision by Thursday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 March, 2013, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 8:57am

President Nicos Anastasiades has demanded that a decision on a bailout deal for the near-bankrupt euro zone member must be made on Thursday, the official CNA news agency reported.

“A decision on a Cyprus rescue must be made on Thursday at the latest,” CNA quoted Anastasiades as saying as he left the presidential palace in Nicosia on Wednesday night.

Anastasiades chaired a crisis meeting of his cabinet on Wednesday, and state television reported he was to present party leaders Thursday with a Plan B at the presidential palace, aimed at securing an EU-IMF bailout for the Mediterranean island.

The CNA news agency said Thursday “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 3.30pm Hong Kong time.

The proposals were expected “to be put to the vote before the Cyprus 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 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 per cent on bank deposits as a condition for an EU-led 10-billion-euro (US$13-billion) loan.

The 5.8 billion euros the proposal would have raised was crucial to Nicosia getting the full rescue.