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Cyprus’s Fate Hangs in the Balance as ECB Deadline Looms

Cyprus’s fate hangs in the balance as euro-area finance ministers meet today to decide whether the tiny Mediterranean island has done enough for a bailout that will avert its financial collapse.

As thousands of protestors marched through the capital Nicosia yesterday, Cypriot officials worked to broker a deal with the European Central Bank , European Commission and International Monetary Fund on how to raise the 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) needed to qualify for aid. Those talks, which focused on a plan to impose levies on bank deposits over 100,000 euros, ended at a “very sensitive stage” last night and will continue in Brussels today, the government said. Eurogroup finance ministers are due to convene in the Belgian city at 6 p.m. “There are only hard choices left,” European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a statement. “It is essential that an agreement is reached by the Eurogroup on Sunday evening in Brussels on a financial assistance program for Cyprus.” The third-smallest economy in the 17-nation euro area was plunged into chaos last week when its lawmakers rejected an EU proposal to confiscate a portion of all bank deposits in order to qualify for 10 […]

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