Cyprus could need bailout after blast
Wednesday 20 July 2011
Cyprus may need foreign financial aid unless drastic action is taken to deal with the impact of an explosion which decimated its largest power station, central bank governor Athanasios Orphanides has warned.
Already under market pressure because of its links to debt-laden Greece, economists have warned the island could face a bill of up to €1 billion after the blast a week ago knocked out half of its power supply.
"To avoid the worst, including admission into (a) support mechanism and all that that entails for the economy ... further and more drastic measures must be taken immediately," Orphanides said in the July 18 letter sent to Cypriot president Demetris Christofias and copied to political party leaders.
"Weighing up all the facts, the unfavourable international environment, the difficulties in resorting to external borrowing and the additional economic impact from the recent events, I believe that the economy is in a state of emergency, comparable to that of 1974," Orphanides wrote.
Orphanides is a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. It is the first time he has suggested Cyprus may need to enter a support mechanism, even though the island's borrowing costs had been rising before the blast.
A copy of the one-page letter obtained by Reuters was forwarded to Christofias before an emergency meeting with party leaders on Monday to assess the impact of the July 11 blast.
He was referring to the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974 after a brief Greek inspired coup.
The explosion of confiscated Iranian munitions last Monday left 13 people dead and triggered rolling power cuts on the island. Calls have also mounted for the resignation of Christofias, who has seen his foreign and defence ministers quit in the wake of the disaster.
With a budget deficit of 5.1 percent of GDP and overall public debt of around 60 percent, Cyprus is in much better fiscal shape than euro zone bailout recipients Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
But financial markets have worried the island, whose annual output of around 17.4 billion euros is just 0.2 percent of the euro zone economy, will be downed by its dependence on a Greek economy and banking sector struggling with its debt crisis.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Becky Watts: Four appear in court charged with hiding body parts after teenager's death
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...