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EU lawmakers, Commission pledge support for new Cyprus leader

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The EU's biggest parliamentary group, the centre-right EPP, and the European Commission on Sunday pledged to support newly elected Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades in efforts to pull the country back from the brink of bankruptcy.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said that "the Cypriot people have given Mr. Anastasiades a strong mandate to implement his programme of reform and to do what it takes to ensure fiscal and financial sustainability."

"I have assured him that he can count on the continued commitment of the European Commission to assist Cyprus to overcome the challenges it faces," he said in a statement.

In a separate statement issued as final results gave Anastasiades 57.5% of the vote, the European People's Party also pledged to back his efforts to secure a bailout for the EU state, currently on the verge of bankruptcy.

"Cyprus now has a reliable president that inspires confidence in Europe," said EPP president Wilfried Martens.

"In spite of the difficulties in the negotiations for the Cyprus bailout agreement, Nicos Anastasiades can count on the support of the EPP," he added.

Anastasiades won in a second round runoff against communist-backed Stavros Malas.

"On behalf of the entire political family of the EPP, I congratulate my good friend Nicos Anastasiades for his impressive electoral victory," said Martens.

"The people of Cyprus have sent a strong message to Europe by putting their trust into a person that has the leadership qualities and the credibility to bring the country out of the current economic crisis.

Sunday's victory sees Cyprus become the 16th EU nation headed by an EPP member.

The EPP is the largest European-level political party of the centre-right.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130224/eu-lawmakers-commission-pledge-support-new-cyprus-leader