NICOSIA - Months of uncertainty should end today when eurozone finance ministers are expected to agree the nuts-and-bolts of a Cyprus bailout to stop a slide into the abyss.
President Anastasiades was in Brussels last night to persuade EU leaders that Cyprus was worth saving from euro free-fall but the terms must be palatable.
"We are looking forward to finding the best and most fair agreement,” said the president.
“I am bound to implement even the last iota of this agreement and I do hope that by tomorrow (Friday) we can negotiate and find a solution.”
The rescue is likely to be worth €10-13 billion rather than the estimated €17b with Nicosia having to make up the shortfall with more taxes and a little more help from Moscow.
The bulk of the loan is earmarked for the troubled banking sector which needs recapitalising after suffering heavy losses on a Greek bond haircut.
International lenders believe that for the country's economy to function in a sustainable way, the unwieldy size of the banking sector will have to come down through mergers, sell-offs or closures.
Around €70b in deposits are held in Cyprus banks – just under half that belongs to non-residents, most believed to be Russian.
Lenders may also want to impose a one-off tax on interest of up to 5% to generate almost €3.5b.