NICOSIA - A collective mood change swept across Europe Thursday as Cyprus swore in a new president ready to do business with Brussels to prevent financial meltdown.
"We are seeking the solidarity of our (EU) partners, and within that framework we will negotiate the completion of a loan agreement as soon as possible," Nicos Anastasiades said in his investiture speech in parliament.
As the new president was making all the right noises at home, the noises from Brussels also struck a more conciliatory tone.
A senior eurozone technocrat told reporters that he confidently expected Cyprus to clinch financial aid in the second half of March.
He said the Troika would return to the island next week to hopefully wrap-up negotiations that have dragged on since June.
When asked why the delay in brokering a deal the official said: “Because the previous government was not willing.”
A Cyprus bailout package will be on the agenda at Monday’s eurogroup meeting which new Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will attend.
Nevertheless, the thorny issues of privatisation and money laundering allegations will not be far from the surface.
But for now there appears to be a deeper reserve of goodwill afforded Nicosia as a staunchly pro-European president quickly mends fences for the task ahead.