Cyprus Should Mull Euro Exit, Ruling Party Head Tells 24h.com.cy

Cyprus may abandon the euro if international lenders insist on excessively onerous austerity measures, 24h.com.cy reported, citing Andros Kyprianou, general secretary of the communist party AKEL.

“If the troika insists on very painful measures, should we remain stubborn and say we won’t leave the euro area because it’s so important to us?” Kyprianou said in a video clip posted on the website of the Cypriot online newspaper.

Kyprianou was referring to the so-called troika that oversees euro-area bailouts, comprised of officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Cypriot President Demetris Christofias is a member and former leader of the AKEL party.

“I’m not prejudging what we should do, but I am saying that these questions have to be discussed very seriously if we really want to serve the interests of the Cypriot people,” he said in a second clip.

Cyprus on June 25 became the fifth country in the euro area to seek external aid. Euro-area finance ministers agreed to begin talks two days later. No amount was specified for the rescue, which will encompass the public sector as well as banks. Cyprus also sought assistance from Russia and the IMF.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stelios Orphanides in Nicosia at sorphanides@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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