News / Europe

Eurozone Ministers Approve Cyprus Loan

Jorg Asmussen, left, European Central Bank Executive Board member, and Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades in Dublin Castle, Ireland, April 12, 2013.Jorg Asmussen, left, European Central Bank Executive Board member, and Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades in Dublin Castle, Ireland, April 12, 2013.
x
Jorg Asmussen, left, European Central Bank Executive Board member, and Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades in Dublin Castle, Ireland, April 12, 2013.
Jorg Asmussen, left, European Central Bank Executive Board member, and Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades in Dublin Castle, Ireland, April 12, 2013.
Selah Hennessy
Eurozone finance ministers on Friday formally approved the terms of a problematic Cyprus debt rescue. The bailout for Cyprus marks an important shift in the eurozone crisis, with bank depositors paying out to help fund the rescue.

The rescue deal is worth $13 billion. Under the deal's terms, Cyprus will be responsible for raising the remaining billions in the rescue package.

This week, questions were raised over just how many billions that will be.

Initially the overall package was gauged at around $22 billion. But documents leaked to the media this week showed the overall price tag could be as high as $30 billion.  

On Friday, eurozone ministers meeting in Dublin formally approved the rescue deal, without raising their own contribution to the package.

The deal is now ready for approval by member states and the first tranche of the loan - cash badly needed in Cyprus - could be ready by the middle of next month.

International lenders have estimated that the economy of Cyprus will contract by nine percent this year and almost four percent the year after.

Olli Rehn, the EU monetary affairs commissioner, said Friday the economy could shrink by as much as 15 percent this year alone.

"We are revising the growth forecast and of course there is plenty of uncertainty about the exact trajectory of economic growth in Cyprus," he said.

He said EU structural funds aimed at boosting euro economies may be brought forward to help Cyprus.

Cyprus is implementing spending cuts and banking sector reform to try to raise the funds it needs. The banking sector in Cyprus is about eight times the size of the economy.

Bank depositors have been forced to make their own contribution to the bailout, with a tax on accounts containing more than $130,000.  

Portugal and Ireland were also on the agenda at the two-day meeting in Dublin.

Ireland received a bailout in 2010 and the following year Portugal received its own bailout worth just over $100 billion.

On Friday, the ministers agreed to extend the bailout loans by seven years.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and Eurogroup president, spoke at a press conference early in the day.

"The ministers of the eurogroup would like to take a definite and positive decision on this extension of the maturities of the loans for seven years, pending the decision of the ECOFIN colleagues this afternoon," he said.

The eurozone is to contribute just under $12 billion to the Cyprus bailout. Just over $1 billion will come from the International Monetary Fund.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs