ECB's Asmussen sees Cyprus bailout by end-March

BERLIN Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:58pm IST

European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen smiles during an interview with Reuters in Berlin June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen smiles during an interview with Reuters in Berlin June 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski

BERLIN (Reuters) - European Central Bank executive board member Joerg Asmussen believes an aid package for Cyprus will be ready by the end of next month, he told the German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview published on Monday.

"I expect the aid program for Cyprus will be in place by the end of March," he said, adding that politicians in his native Germany should not try to delay a controversial decision on Cyprus until after a German federal election in September.

"There must be no doubt about this: if Cyprus gets no external help, it will slide into default," said Asmussen.

He also warned that failing to help a systemically relevant euro zone country would "put at risk progress made last year on the euro crisis - and that would have high financial and political costs".

Politicians in Germany's governing alliance and the opposition are hesitant about granting Cyprus a 17.5 billion ($24 billion) bailout because of its status as a tax haven for rich Russians, many of whom use it for money-laundering.

Asmussen said an aid package for Cyprus would be "no one-way street" and the government in Nicosia would have to fulfill "tough conditions" including scaling down its financial sector and introducing more banking transparency.

Cyprus will be high on the agenda of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday.

(Reporting by Stephen Brown)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Drug Pricing

REUTERS SHOWCASE

 G20 Meet

G20 Meet

As G20 chases growth goal, members differ on how to get there   Full Article 

Modi Speaks

Modi Speaks

PM Modi says al Qaeda will fail in India - CNN.  Full Article 

Alibaba Listing

Alibaba Listing

Alibaba surges on massive demand in trading debut  Full Article 

Importing Rice

Importing Rice

Top rice exporter India importing over 100,000 T on temporary supply squeeze.  Full Article 

GSK Fined

GSK Fined

China hands drugmaker GSK record $489 mln fine, sentences executives.  Full Article 

HMT in Demand

HMT in Demand

Fans rush to HMT as watchmaker marks time.  Full Article 

Apple Not Cool?

Apple Not Cool?

Some consumers say Apple is losing its "cool" factor  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage