- Cyprus : Downer in the dog house over dinner diplomacy
- Opinions : Our View: Government needs to get its priorities straight
- Cyprus : Shiarly: no excuse for spending money you do not have
- Cyprus : Orphanides: they trashed the banks to win votes
- Cyprus : Cost cutting pays off in first quarter
- Cyprus : Capital controls relaxed further
- Cyprus : Historic visit by Russian warships
- Cyprus : Leukaemia boy’s family warns of fake collection in Paphos
- Cyprus : Interest rate reductions will help economy, spokesman says
- Cyprus : New law will result in more modern co-op sector
Cyprus being persecuted says outgoing president
CYPRUS is being "persecuted" and "cornered" by EU partners seeking to impose tough conditions for financial aid, President Demetris Christofias said yesterday during a visit to Greece.
"Cyprus feels persecuted," he told reporters in Athens. "We were forced to resort to a support mechanism, and instead of support, we have persecution.
"Now they have remembered money laundering. They have got us in a corner," he said, referring to doubts in some eurozone states, notably Germany, about the island's commitment to financial transparency.
“We promised the people of Greece and Cyprus better days inside this (European) Union. And I wonder, where is the Union’s solidarity?” Christofias said. “Oppression exists, social injustice is widening, and the common people are paying the price.”
The president said conditions of a preliminary agreement with international lenders were painful but not as harsh as those imposed on Greece.
He said the government was ready to sign and suggested that it was the lenders who were stalling “because they want to impose fresh tough conditions.”
Cyprus, one of the smallest euro zone states, is in talks with international lenders including the EU on a prospective bailout as big as its entire economic output, having been crippled by its exposure to twice-rescued Greece.
Christofias, the EU's only communist head of state, is not seeking a second term in elections scheduled on February 17.
The outgoing president has seen his popularity plummet because of his handling of the economy, stalling on seeking aid while the island remained shut out of financial markets, and been blamed for the island's worst peacetime disaster when a massive cargo of munitions exploded in 2011.