Eurozone countries last night agreed to pay Cyprus another €100 million in financial aid as efforts continue to pull the island back from the brink.
But all was not plain sailing in Brussels, as Cyprus undertook further commitments on its privatisation plans in order to convince the eurogroup ministers.
Commending Nicosia for the progress achieved so far, the eurogroup gave the go ahead for a further €100 million in Cyprus aid by the end of the year.
The International Monetary Fund is due to sign off an additional €86 million on December 20.
“We commend the Cypriot authorities for the progress achieved … and underline that a full and timely policy implementation remains essential to address the many challenges that the Cypriot economy is facing,” the eurogroup said.
“In particular, we welcome the firm commitment of the Cypriot authorities to strengthen the privatisation plans as agreed with the Troika institutions,” it added.
Cyprus’ privatisation roadmap, approved only last week, was a precondition for yesterday’s third instalment. Informed sources in Brussels indicated that after a gruelling build-up, Cyprus had undertaken to bolster its privatisation commitment in order to secure the funds.
Earlier yesterday, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades gave a damning appraisal of the current crisis saying, “We have nobody to blame but ourselves. It is the dithering, wavering as well as erroneous forecasts and political decisions in the last few years that have driven our economy into such turbulent waters.”
But he added that some decisions at EU-level had not been helpful.