NICOSIA - Cyprus will today continue its charm offensive to secure a much-needed bailout as EU leaders arrive for an extraordinary meeting of the European People’s Party.
Over the week, Nicosia has done its best to persuade sceptical EU diplomats that Cyprus is a safe bet to receive financial aid and is definitely not a haven for dirty Russian cash.
These allegations have persistently surfaced in the German media, while Berlin has taken a hard stance in its approach toward Cyprus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party is uneasy about bailing out Cyprus, will attend the Limassol gathering.
Merkel said she expected talks on a bailout to take time, warning there would be no special conditions for Cyprus which is expected to pursue deep reforms including privatisations in return for aid. And presidential frontrunner Nicos Anastasiades will use today’s opportunity to press home the point that Cyprus is a worthy partner that is playing by the rules.
“I’ll be making the case that, in a way, the assistance we are requesting is nothing but a good investment on behalf of our partners,” he told Reuters in an interview.
“Harsh and unnecessary conditions that will demolish Cyprus as an international business centre should be avoided.” Bailout talks are hampered by fears that taking on such a huge debt would be impossible to pay back within the timeframe provided.
But Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly argues that even if the banks needed €10b the government could service that level of borrowing.