Nation/World

In brief: Cyprus’ banks may need help later on, commission warns

Berlin – A dramatic contraction in Cyprus’ economy could result in the nation’s troubled banks requiring additional financial help, the European Commission warned Wednesday.

It said Cyprus is facing several bleak years, with the economy projected to shrink by a cumulative 12.5 percent this year and in 2014 as the small eurozone state attempts to slim down its banking sector. Economic growth is not expected to return until 2015.

“The weak economic outlook may potentially also lead to additional financing requirements for recapitalizing banking institutions,” the commission wrote in its draft report on the sustainability of Cyprus’ public debt.

The report, prepared in conjunction with the European Central Bank, comes ahead of Friday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Dublin, which is due to consider the $13 billion bailout deal Cyprus agreed on with international lenders last month.

Uruguay becomes 12th country to legalize gay marriage

Montevideo, Uruguay – Uruguayan lawmakers voted Wednesday to legalize gay marriage, making the South American country the third in the Americas to do so.

Supporters of the law, who had filled the public seats in the legislative building, erupted in celebration when the results were announced. The bill received the backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies present.

President Jose Mujica, whose governing Broad Front majority backed the law, is expected to put it into effect within 10 days.

Nationalist Sen. Gerardo Amarilla opposed the law, saying it “debases the institution of marriage” and affects the family, especially in its “role in procreation.”

The vote makes Uruguay the third country in the Americas after Canada and Argentina to eliminate laws making marriage, adoption and other family rights exclusive to heterosexuals. In all, 12 nations around the world now have taken this step.



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