01 March 2014 14:20

NICOSIA --  MPs will vote again next week on a privatisation bill that Cyprus needs to approve to secure the next batch of rescue money and avoid bankruptcy.
Lawmakers will convene on Tuesday - a day before the deadline set by creditors in order to release the next €236 million instalment.
The privatisation of state-owned companies is a critical element of a €10 billion rescue package for Cyprus, which agreed to the measures a year ago in a deal with other euro area countries and the International Monetary Fund.
But the measures have been controversial.
A bill failed on Thursday amid protests that workers’ rights would not be safeguarded, but revisions were approved by the cabinet on Friday to address concerns.
Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos says his party will now back the amended bill after the changes.
“Privatisations are a clear obligation,” Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said. “We have to understand that if we sink, then we’ll all go down together.”
He said if the bill is not past second time around, the government will have trouble paying its way.
Workers at the state electricity, telecommunications and ports authorities have staged strikes to protest


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