“Italian Prime Minister [Mario] Monti has been leading, in many respects, the drive to rebalance the effort so that due importance is given to growth and not just to austerity,” Mr. Anastasiades said.
A delegation from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund this week started talks with the government in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, and banking authorities to determine the scope of the bailout.
Cyprus may need as much as $13 billion, more than half the size of its economy, according to some reports.
Mr. Anastasiades said it would be premature to put a number on this aid.
Cyprus also is looking to Russia and China for help.
“Russia and China are obvious candidates. … If they have the funds and the willingness and the terms are favorable and acceptable to us, then, yes, we will consider that,” Mr. Anastasiades said.
Cyprus, like many other countries in Europe, is facing runaway rates of unemployment in addition to a crippling financial crisis.
The island nation, which boasted an unemployment rate of about 3 percent until three years ago, now has a jobless rate that has shot past 7 percent.
Ambassador still optimistic
Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek-speaking south and a Turkish-speaking north in 1974, when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of a union with Greece. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as a sovereign country.
Cyprus has a sovereign right to explore for natural resources within its maritime zones; however, its “unilateral start of exploration is a violation of the pledge to share natural resources, and undermines the already fragile reunification talks,” according to the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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