NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cypriot officials and international representatives ended torturous negotiation early today with no agreement on a plan to raise money the island nation needs to qualify for a bailout package.
Talks are set to resume later today in Brussels, but time is running out: Failure would mean Cyprus could declare bankruptcy in just two days and possibly have to exit the eurozone.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will travel to the Belgian capital today. A viable plan must be cemented before finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro currency meet in Brussels in the evening.
“Negotiations are at a very delicate phase,” government spokesman Christos Stylianides said.
Cyprus has been told it must raise $7.5 billion in order to secure rescue loans from other European countries that use the single currency, as well as from the IMF.
The IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission will determine whether the plan that the Cypriots devise will meet the requirements for any international bailout package. Then, the plan is to be presented to the eurozone finance ministers for final approval.
The European Central Bank has said it will stop providing emergency funding to Cyprus’ banks after Monday if no new plan is in place.